Transparent conducting ZnO:Al and ZnO films of 380-800 nm thickness were deposited on glass substrates by filtered vacuum arc deposition (FVAD), using a cylindrical Zn cathode doped with 5-6 at.% Al or a pure Zn cathode in oxygen background gas with pressure P = 0.4-0.93 Pa. The crystalline structure, composition and electrical and optical properties of the films were studied as functions of P. The films were stored under ambient air conditions and the variation of their resistance as function of storage time was monitored over a period of several months. The Al concentration in the film was found to be 0.006-0.008 at.%, i.e., a few orders of magnitude lower than that in the cathode material. However, this low Al content influenced the film resistivity, rho, and its stability. The resistivity of as-deposited ZnO:Al films, rho = (6-8) x 10(-3) Omega cm, was independent of P and lower by a factor of 2 in comparison to that of the ZnO films deposited by the same FVAD system. The rho of ZnO films 60 days after deposition increased by a factor of similar to 7 with respect to as-deposited films. The ZnO:Al films deposited with P = 0.47-0.6 Pa were more stable, their rho first slowly increased during the storage time (1.1-1.4 times with respect to as-deposited films), and then stabilized after 30-45 days. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.