The chemical states of epitaxial PbZrxTi1-xO3 films were investigated by an X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy as a function of the gamma-ray doses. An anomalous behaviour was observed in Pb4f states, and a core level of Pb4f shifts towards a higher binding energy at 50 kGy and towards a lower binding energy at 200 kGy. The behaviour can be explained by a radiation induced reduction of PbO to metallic Pb. The metal-insulator-metal electrodes were fabricated by lithography, and the current-voltage characteristics were measured. A negative differential resistance (NDR) was observed in the leakage currents at room temperature. A higher current and disappearance of NDR characteristics were found in the 200 kGy irradiated samples, which further confirms the presence of metallic Pb. © 2016 Author(s).