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Patterning characteristics of indium tin oxide thin films using different wavelengths of a diode-pumped Q-switched Nd:YLF and a flashlamp-pumped Nd:YAG laser have been studied. While a ripplelike structure in the etched line was formed due to incomplete material removal when the first harmonic of the Nd:YLF or Nd:YAG laser was used, a residue-free line could be obtained using the fourth harmonic of the Nd:YLF laser even at higher scan speeds. The observed differences in the morphology could be attributed to different absorption characteristics at the infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths. High process speeds in excess of 1 m/s could be achieved. © 1998 American Institute of Physics.