The preparation of ultra-thin platinum-group metal films, such as Pt, Ru and Pd, by atomic layer deposition (ALD) was monitored in situ using spectroscopic ellipsometry in the photon energy range of 0.75–5 eV. The metals' dielectric function was parametrized using a 'flexible' Kramers–Kronig consistent dielectric function because it was able to provide accurate curve shape control over the optical response of the metals. From this dielectric function, it was possible to extract the film thickness values during the ALD process. The important ALD process parameters, such as the nucleation period and growth per cycle of Pt, Ru and Pd could be determined from the thickness evolution. In addition to process parameters, the film resistivity in particular could be extracted from the modeled dielectric function. Spectroscopic ellipsometry thereby revealed itself as a feasible and valuable technique to be used in research and development applications, as well as for process monitoring during ALD.