Thin films of polycrystalline lead sulfide (PbS) have been deposited on glass substrates at 303 +/- 1 K using chemical bath deposition (CBD). The precipitation of PbS on solid surfaces under four different reaction conditions was performed using a sodium sulfite (Na2SO3) compound as an inhibitor. The kinetics model for the reaction between Pb2+ and S2- was developed according to the amounts of Pb2+ concentrations measured by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) during the precipitation of PbS. The surface morphologies of PbS thin films were studied with a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). It was found that the precipitation rate effects the formation of pinhole. To obtain a good quality of thin films the optimum concentration of lead nitrate (Pb(NO3)(2)), sodium hydroxide (NaOH), thiourea (CS(NH2)(2)) and Na2SO3 in the final solution was determined to be 0.0089, 0.1460, 0.510 and 0.00023 M, respectively. The film structures were characterized by X-ray diffractometer (XRD). The XRD results showed that the films formed galena cubic structures which represent the natural mineral of PbS. The crystallite sizes of the films were found to be between 23 and 37 nm. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.