We present the first report of the preparation and characterization of α-AIN films using reactive magnetron sputtering at cryogenic temperature. By comparison, analogous films grown at room temperature were polycrystalline. The films were characterized using X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry (RBS), Infrared (IR) Spectroscopy and optical transmission. XRD studies on films grown at room temperature showed diffraction peaks corresponding to (100), (101), (102) and (210) planes. In contrast, no peaks were observed for AIN films formed at liquid nitrogen temperature confirming the amorphous nature of the films. Composition analysis using RBS showed the presence of Al and N in ˜1:1 stoichiometry. The films were highly transparent and the computed bandgaps of αand c-AIN films were 5.90 and 5.89 eV respectively. We also consider the possibilities of wet etching the AIN films in diluted KOH solution and the results are discussed.