Plasma sprayed deposits consist of multitude of flattened lamellar particles - 'splats' - which as basic building elements form their structure and determine the deposit properties. Therefore, knowledge of the mechanism of their formation and characteristics is important for understanding the processing property relationships. Although extensive studies have been done on splat formation, there is a lack of correlation to macroscopic deposit properties. Among factors influencing the deposit properties and performance is residual stress, originating from splat quenching and thermal mismatch between the substrate and coating. This phenomenon has been studied mostly on macroscopic level. In the present study, an attempt is made to establish a connection between these two approaches. In the focus of this study is the effect of selected processing variables on splat characteristics, deposit properties and residual stress in a single-splat layer. The processing variables of primary interest were deposition temperature and substrate material. Molybdenum as a representative material of practical interest was used throughout this study. The correlation between stresses and processing conditions is discussed with regards to microstructure and relevant coating properties.