This work focuses on fabrication, characterization and understanding some physical properties of transparent and conductive ITO thin films. ITO thin films were deposited onto glass and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrates by thermionic vacuum arc (TVA) technique. TVA is a different technology for thin film deposition. Thicknesses and refractive indices of the ITO thin films have been determined by spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) technique using Cauchy model for fitting. SE is a novel, nondestructive and powerful technique to investigate the optical characteristics of materials. Especially thickness and optical constants are measuring this device. Transmittances, reflectance of ITO coated samples were measured by UV-vis spectrophotometer and interferometer, respectively. The optical method was used to determine the band gaps of ITO thin films. Surface morphologies of produced films were characterized by atomic force microscope (AFM) for surface topography and roughness of ITO thin films. Resistivity measurements show that produced films show semiconductor properties. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.