Zinc oxide (ZnO) has attracted recent interest for a range of applications, including use as a transparent conductive oxide (TCO) and in gas sensor devices. This paper compares ZnO films grown using two methods designed for the production of thin films, namely sol-gel and aerosol assisted chemical vapour deposition (AACVD) for potential use in sensor and TCO applications. Materials produced by the sol-gel route were observed to be amorphous when annealed at 350 degrees C, but were crystalline when annealed at higher temperatures and had a relatively open grain structure when compared to the AACVD films. Electrical characterization showed that materials were highly resistive, but that their properties varied considerably when the measurements were performed in vacuum or in air. This behaviour was rapidly reversible and reproducible for room temperature measurement.In contrast materials grown by aerosol-assisted CVD were non-porous, polycrystalline and conductive. Measured electrical properties did not vary with changing measurement atmosphere. These differences are discussed in terms of the structural characterisation of the films and some comments are made regarding the suitability of both approaches for the growth of ZnO thin film sensor materials.