The effect of Sri concentration on zinc oxide (ZnO) film properties has been investigated by depositing films with various Sn concentrations in the solution (Sn/Sn + Zn ratio from 0 to 50 at%) at a substrate temperature of 350 degrees C by ultrasonic spray pyrolysis (USP) technique. The deposited films were characterized for their electrical, structural, morphological and elemental properties using current-voltage and conductivity-temperature measurements, X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Electrical investigations showed that the resistivity of ZnO films decreases for lower Sri concentration (at 10%) and then increases for higher Sn concentration (at 30-50%). Also, depending on the increasing Sn concentration, energies of donor-like traps for ZnO films decreased and activation energy of donors for ZnO films increased. The XRD patterns showed that the as-deposited films have polycrystalline structure and the crystalline nature of the films was deteriorated with increasing Sn concentration and a shift to amorphous structure was seen. The effect of Sn concentration was to increase the surface roughening and change considerably the morphologies of ZnO films. The most homogenous surface was seen in ZnO films. EDS results showed that all elements in the starting solutions were in the solid films and Zn element is more dominant than Sn on the surfaces. After all investigations, it was determined that Sri incorporation dramatically modifies the properties of ZnO films. ZnO and ZnO:Sn (10 at%) films have a low resistivity and high transparency in the visible range and may be used as window material and antireflecting coating in solar cells while the other films may be used in gas sensors where high conductivity is unnecessary. (C) 2005 Springer Science + Business Media, Inc.