HfO2 thin films were prepared by reactive DC magnetron sputtering technique on (100) p-Si substrate. The effects of O-2/Ar ratio, substrate temperature, sputtering power on the structural properties of HfO2 grown films were studied by Spectroscopic Ellipsometer (SE), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrum, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) depth profiling techniques. The results show that the formation of a SiOx suboxide layer at the HfO2/Si interface is unavoidable. The HfO2 thickness and suboxide formation are highly affected by the growth parameters such as sputtering power, O-2/Ar gas ratio during sputtering, and substrate temperature. XRD spectra show that the deposited films have (111) monoclinic phase of HfO2, which is also supported by FTIR spectra. XPS depth profiling spectra shows that highly reactive sputtered Hf atoms consume some of the oxygen atoms from the underlying SiO2 to form HfO2, leaving Si-Si bonds behind. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.