A method of studying thin film growth and materials processing using micromachined Si-based structures is presented. The microsubstrate platforms (called “microhotplates”) allow temperature control during deposition, and in situ monitoring of the electrical properties of connected coatings. The efficiency of the approach is amplified when multiple. Independentlyoperated elements are used in array configurations. Illustrations here involve chemical vapor deposition of semiconducting oxides, but the methodology can be employed to investigate the growth of other classes of materials as well.