The atomic layer deposition technique has been applied to the growth of Al2O3 thin films on the substrates of Si(100), 100-nm-thick SiO2 covered Si(100) [SiO2/Si(100)], and 90-nm-thick TiN covered SiO2/Si(100). The growth rate of Al2O3 films was 0.19 nm/cycle and identical for all substrates employed under the surface controlled process. However, the optical properties of Al2O3 films were significantly affected by different substrates. The average interband-oscillator energy and refractive index parameter were determined to be 3.330 eV and 2.992×10-14 eV m2 for Al2O3 film grown on Si(100), while those for the film grown on SiO2/Si(100) were 4.492 eV and 2.074×10-14 eV m2, respectively. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.