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Graphite surfaces can be hardened and protected from erosion by hydrogen at high temperatures by refractory metal carbide coatings, which are usually prepared by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) or chemical vapor reaction (CVR) methods. These techniques rely on heating the substrate to a temperature where a volatile metal halide decomposes and reacts with either a hydrocarbon gas or with carbon from the substrate. For CVR techniques, deposition temperatures must be in excess of 2000[degrees]C in order to achieve favorable deposition kinetics. In an effort to lower the bulk substrate deposition temperature, the use of laser interactions with both the substrate and the metal halide deposition gas has been employed. Initial testing, involved the use of a CO[sub 2] laser to heat the surface of a graphite substrate and a KrF excimer laser to accomplish a photodecomposition of TaCl[sub 5] gas near the substrate. Results of preliminary experiments using these techniques are described.