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Summary form only given, as follows. Because of the high quality of the plasma produced by excimer laser, pulsed laser deposition is one of the best methods in depositing thin films, especially in depositing metal oxide thin films. In this work, an excimer laser is used to ablate a ZnO target and deposit ZnO thin films on MgO (100) substrates at room temperature. The rapid thermal annealing process is followed to process the thin films at different temperatures (100, 200, 300, 400, 500, and 600 /spl deg/C, respectively) in oxygen or in air for 15 minutes. X-ray diffraction, optical transmission, Raman spectroscopy, photoluminescence and atomic force microscopy are used to characterize the thin films.