ZnO thin films were deposited on glass, ITO (In 2O 3; Sn) and on ZnO:Al coated glass by spray pyrolysis. The substrates were heated at 350 °C. Structural characterization by X-ray diffraction (XRD) measurements shows that films crystallize in hexagonal structure with a preferential orientation along (0 0 2) direction. XRD peak-shift analysis revealed that films deposited on glass substrate (-0.173) were compressive, however, films deposited onto ITO (0.691) and on ZnO:Al (0.345) were tensile. Scanning electron microscopies (SEM) show that the morphologies of surface are porous in the form of nanopillars. The transmittance spectra indicated that the films of ZnO/ITO/glass and ZnO/ZnO:Al/glass exhibit a transmittance around 80% in the visible region. An empirical relationship modeled by theoretical numerical models has been presented for estimating refractive indices ( n) relative to energy gap. All models indicate that the refractive index deceases with increasing energy band gap ( Eg).