Single oriented nanocrystalline CeO2 thin films have been deposited over Si (100) substrate by RF magnetron sputtering in the temperature range 600-700 o C, using CeO2 target. X-ray diffraction pattern for the as deposited CeO2 film at 700 o C shows the dominant (111) orientation with corresponding FWHM value of 0.378 o and the crystallite size 21.50 nm. The refractive index and the optical band gap both were found to increase from 2.35 to 2.66 and 3.25 to 3.43 eV, respectively with increasing substrate temperature. Atomic force microscopy results reveal highly smooth surface of the deposited films with surface roughness below 1.15 nm for the entire range of deposition temperatures. Further, the contact angle measurements on the as deposited CeO2 films showed variation from 122.36 to 81.67 o with respect to the substrate temperature, transforming the wetting property from hydrophobic to hydrophilic in nature. These results indicate the possibility of producing CeO2 films with varying properties for various device applications simply by controlling the substrate temperature.