Indium tin oxide (ITO) films were deposited on soda lime glass and polyimide substrates using an innovative process known as High Target Utilisation Sputtering (HiTUS). The influence of the oxygen flow rate, substrate temperature and sputtering pressure, on the electrical, optical and thermal stability properties of the films was investigated. High substrate temperature, medium oxygen flow rate and moderate pressure gave the best compromise of low resistivity and high transmittance. The lowest resistivity was 1.6 x 10(-4) Omega cm on glass while that on the polyimide was 1.9 X to(-4) Omega cm. Substrate temperatures above 100 degrees C were required to obtain visible light transmittance exceeding 85% for ITO films on glass. The thermal stability of the films was mainly influenced by the oxygen flow rate and thus the initial degree of oxidation. The film resistivity was either unaffected or reduced after heating in vacuum but generally increased for oxygen deficient films when heated in air. The greatest increase in transmittance of oxygen deficient films occurred for heat treatment in air while that of the highly oxidised films was largely unaffected by heating in both media. This study has demonstrated the potential of HiTUS as a favourable deposition method for high quality ITO suitable for use in thin film solar cells. (C) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.