ZnO nanorods were grown on graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (RGO) films with seed layers by using simple hydrothermal method. The GO films were deposited by spray coating and then annealed at 400 degrees C in argon atmosphere to obtain RGO films. The optical and structural properties of the ZnO nanorods were systematically studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy. The XRD patterns and SEM images show that without a seed layer, no ZnO nanorod deposition occurs on GO or RGO films. Transmittance of ZnO nanorods grown on RGO films was measured to be approximately 83% at 550 nm. Furthermore, while transmittance of RGO films increases with ZnO nanorod deposition, transmittance of GO decreases. (C) 2011 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.