Piezoelectric properties of ZnO thin films have been investigated for micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS). Wurtzite ZnO structure was prepared on different substrates (Si (1 0 0), Pt (1 1 1)/Ti/SiO2/Si and Al (1 1 1)/SiO2/Si) at different substrate temperatures (from 100 to 500 °C) by a pulsed laser deposition (PLD) technique. X-ray diffraction (XRD) characterization showed that the ZnO films were highly c-axis (0 0 2) oriented, which is of interest for various piezoelectric applications. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed evidence of honeycomb-like structure on the surface and columnar structure on the cross-section. In the case of ZnO on Al, ZnO exhibited an amorphous phase at the ZnO/Al interface. The XRD measurements indicated that the substrate temperature of 300 °C was the optimum condition to obtain high quality (strongest (0 0 2) peak with the biggest associated grain size) of crystalline ZnO on Pt and on Al and that 400 °C was the optimum one on Si. ZnO on Al exhibits smallest rocking curve width than on Pt, leading to better crystalline quality. The ZnO films were used in bulk acoustic wave (BAW) transducer. Electrical measurements of the input impedance and S-Parameters showed evidence of piezoelectric response. The electromechanical coupling coefficient was evaluated as Keff2=5.09%, with a quality factor Qr = 1001.4.