The fabrication of large-scale integrated and very large-scale integrated circuitry currently involves a variety of dry processing techniques. Examples include plasma-enhanced and thermal chemical vapor deposition (CVD) for material deposition, and reactive-ion etching (RIE), plasma etching, and laser ablation for material removal. Since many of these processes involve the interaction of small molecules, ions, or atoms with each other or with surfaces, laser spectroscopic techniques are often well suited to such studies. This article illustrates some of the capabilities of laser spectroscopy, with examples taken from IBM laboratory work. The use of laser-induced fluorescence (LIF) and laser absorption techniques to study sputtering by bombardment of solids with energetic ion or electron beams, the mechanism of excimer-laser ablation of solids, the role of atomic oxygen in RIE discharges, and also the role of the SiH//2 radical in silicon CVD are described.