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Photoresponse characteristics of ZnO thin films deposited by three different techniques namely rf diode sputtering, rf magnetron sputtering, and electrophoretic deposition has been investigated in the metal-semiconductor-metal (MSM) configuration. A significant variation in the crystallinity, surface morphology, and photoresponse characteristics of ZnO thin film with change in growth kinetics suggest that the presence of defect centers and their density govern the photodetector relaxation properties. A relatively low density of traps compared to the true quantum yield is found very crucial for the realization of practical ZnO thin film based ultraviolet (UV) photodetector.