We investigated the effects of growth conditions during magnetron sputtering on the structural, morphological, and optical properties of nanostructured ZnO thin films. Undoped ZnO thin films are deposited onto p-type Si (100) and corning 7059 glass substrates by RF magnetron sputtering using a ZnO target in combination with various Ar-O-2 sputtering gas mixtures at room temperature. The effect of the partial pressure of oxygen on the morphology of ZnO thin film structure and band alignment were investigated. Thickness, and therefore the growth rate of the samples measured from the cross-sectional SEM micrographs, is found to be strongly correlated with the oxygen partial pressure in the sputtering chamber. The optical transmittance spectrometry results show that the absorption edge shifts towards the longer wavelength at higher oxygen partial pressure. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) used for determining the surface chemical structure and valence band offsets show that conduction band can be controlled by changing the sputtering atmosphere. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.