Lithium-zinc-tin-oxide thin films were prepared by sol gel method. The structural and optical properties of the films were investigated. The optical band gaps of the LiZnSnO films were found to be 3.78 eV for 0 at.% Li, 3.77 eV for 1 at.% Li, 3.87 eV for 3 at.% Li and 3.85 eV for 5 at.% Li, respectively. Au/LiZnSnO/p-Si/Al photodiodes were fabricated using a lithium-zinc-tin-oxide (LZTO, Li-Zn-Sn-O) layer grown on p-Si semiconductor. The electrical characteristics of the photodiodes were analyzed by current-voltage, capacitance-voltage and conductance-voltage measurements. The reverse current of the diodes increases with both the increasing illumination intensity and Li content. It was found that the Li-doped ZTO photodiodes exhibited a better device performance than those with an undoped ZTO. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.