ZnO, SnO2, and zinc stannate thin films were deposited using filtered vacuum arc deposition (FVAD) system on commercial microscope glass and UV fused silica substrates (UVFS) at room temperature (RT). The structural and morphological analyses were performed using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), respectively. XRD patterns of ZnO films deposited at RT had strongly c-axis orientation, whereas SnO2 and zinc stannate films had amorphous structure as they did not have any defined patterns. Average crystalline size and surface grain size of ZnO films were similar to 16 nm, as determined from diffraction line broadening and AFM images, respectively. Optical constants in the 250-1100 nm wavelength range were determined by variable angle spectroscopic ellipsometry and transmission measurements. The transmission of the deposited films in the VIS was 80-90%, affected by interference. The refractive indices and the extinction coefficients of deposited ZnO, SnO2 and zinc stannate films were in the range 1.87-2.15 and 0.02-0.04, depending on wavelengths and deposition parameters. The optical band gap (E-g) was determined by the dependence of the absorption coefficient on the photon energy at short wavelengths. Its values for ZnO, SnO2, and zinc stannate were in the range 3.25-3.30 eV, 3.60-3.98 eV and 3.43-3.52 eV, respectively, depending on the deposition pressure. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.