We report the characterization of carbonaceous aluminium oxide, Al2O3:C, films grown on Si(100) by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition. The focus is on the study of the effects of carbon on the dielectric properties of aluminium oxide in a qualitative manner. The carbon present in the aluminium oxide film derives from aluminium acetylacetonate used as the source of aluminium. As-grown films comprise nanometer-sized grains of alumina (∼ 20–50 nm) in an amorphous carbonaceous matrix, as examined by X-ray diffractometry (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The films are shiny; they are smooth as observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). An attempt has been made to explore the defects (viz., oxide charge density) in the aluminium oxide films using room temperature high frequency capacitance – voltage (C-V) and current–voltage (I-V) measurements. The hysteresis and stretch-out in the high frequency C-V plots is indicative of charge trapping. The role of heteroatoms, as characterized by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, in the transport of charge in Al2O3:C films is discussed.