The ablation process of La0.5Sr0.5CoO3 by a spatial uniform 248 nm excimer laser beam has been characterized. Ablation rates, changes in the target surface morphology and composition have been studied as a function of the laser fluence. The dependence of the ablation rate on the laser fluence has been explained by a model based on plasma absorption. The threshold fluence for complete dissociation of the surface has been determined and is found equal to 0.7 J/cm2. Above this threshold, a steady-state target surface condition is obtained within 30 pulses. Below the threshold fluence, CoO nuclei form, which have a pronounced effect on the target composition and morphology. In addition, ellipsometric and reflectance spectra have been measured in the photon energy range of 1.8 to 5.0 eV.