We report on room temperature diode characteristics of ZnO:Al (AZO)/Si heterostructures by current-voltage measurements. In this study, with increasing AZO film thickness, systematic reduction in the turn-on potential (from 3.16 to 1.80 V) and the film stress are observed. Complementary capacitance-voltage studies reveal a decreasing trend in barrier height at the junction with increasing AZO film thickness. A gradual decrease in resistivity takes place with increasing AZO film thickness. Above observations are explained in the framework of AZO thickness dependent variation in grain size and in turn trap density at the grain boundaries influencing carrier transport across the adjacent grains. © 2013 © 2013 Author(s).