Lead oxide thin film was performed by evaporation technique on the p-Si type substrate. The studied film was characterized using the UV–VIS spectroscopy method. The reflectance and transmittance measurements conducted at the normal incident of light between 300 and 1000 nm were analyzed to determine the optical dispersion of the film. It was estimated that the film' optical transmittance was 77% in the visible range The obtained absorption coefficient greater than 104 cm−1 showed that the electron transition was direct. The optical band gap energy value of the film was computed as 3.22 eV. Also, the electrical features of Al/PbO/p-Si diode were examined by observing its current–voltage (I-V) behavior at room temperature. Zero-bias barrier height (Φb0), ideality factor (n), series resistance (Rs) were obtained using the conventional Norde, I-V and Cheung methods. Also, the diode's dominant current conduction mechanisms were examined using the forward bias I-V data.