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An understanding of the variation of directional radiative properties of rough surfaces with dielectric coatings is important for temperature measurements and heat transfer analysis in many industrial processes. An experimental study has been conducted to investigate the effect of coating thickness on the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) of rough silicon surfaces.Silicon dioxide films with thicknesses of 107.2, 216.5, and 324.6 nm were deposited using plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition onto the rough side of two Si wafers. The wafer surfaces exhibit distinct anisotropic characteristics as a result of chemical etching during the manufacturing process. A laser scatterometer measures the BRDF at a wavelength of 635 nm, after improvement of the signal-to-noise ratio. The slope distribution function obtained from the measured BRDF of uncoated Si surfaces was used in an analytical model based on geometric optics for rough surface scattering and thin-film optics for microfacet reflectance. The predicted BRDFs are in reasonable agreement with experimental results for a large range of coating thicknesses. The limitations of the geometric optics for modeling the BRDF of coated anisotropic rough surfaces in the specular direction are demonstrated. The results may benefit future radiative transfer analysis involving complicated surface microstructures with thin-film coatings.