In this study, photoluminescence (PL) properties of annealed ZnO thin films deposited onto a porous silicon (PS) surface by rf-sputtering were investigated. A huge blue shift of luminescence from the ZnO deposited onto the PS surface and a broadband luminescence (white luminescence) across most of the visible spectrum were obtained after the heat treatment at 950 degrees C in air. The results of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis suggested that the porous silicon surface was oxidized after ZnO deposition and the broadband luminescence was due to the conversion of Si-H bonds to Si-O-Si bonds on the PS surface. The underlying mechanisms of the broadband PL were discussed by using oxygen-bonding model for the PS and native defects model for ZnO. The experimental results suggested that the heat treatment provides a relatively easy way to achieve white luminescence from thin ZnO deposited porous silicon. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.