Indium tin oxide (ITO) thin films were prepared by dc magnetron sputtering deposition on glass substrates under different process conditions. The surface morphology was monitored using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The change in surface morphology of ITO films was discussed in terms of crystallographic orientation and grain size. The crystallographic orientations and the grain sizes of the samples significantly changed with different sputtering parameters. Moderate ranges of pressure and power density, less amounts of additional oxygen gas, and higher substrate temperatures, where adatoms are expected to have higher mobility, resulted in a rougher surface. Under those conditions, the domains had more mixed orientations, and the average sizes of grains were larger. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.