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A simple physical model is developed for the thermal oxidation process of AlGaAs using the continuity equation. The model is based on the principle of oxidant mass conservation. Theoretical calculations are compared with experimental data to a good agreement. The model is then applied to the study of VCSEL batch fabrication. Several control parameters are discussed including AlGaAs layer thickness, aluminum composition, initial mesa size, spacing between two adjacent devices, oxidation time, and oxidation temperature.