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This study develops a highly transparent nickel-oxide (NiO/sub x/)-indium-tin-oxide (ITO) transparent Ohmic contact with excellent current spreading for p-GaN to increase the optical output power of nitride-based light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The NiO/sub x/-ITO transparent Ohmic contact layer was prepared by electron beam in-situ evaporation without postdeposition annealing. Notably, the transmittance of the NiO/sub x/-ITO exceeds 90% throughout the visible region of the spectrum and approaches 98% at 470 nm. Moreover, GaN LED chips with dimensions of 300 /spl times/ 300 /spl mu/m fabricated with the NiO/sub x/-ITO transparent Ohmic contact were developed and produced a low forward voltage of 3.4 V under a nominal forward current of 20 mA and a high optical output power of 6.6 mW. The experimental results indicate that NiO/sub x/-ITO bilayer Ohmic contact with excellent current spreading and high transparency is suitable for fabricating high-brightness GaN-based light-emitting devices.