Zinc oxide thin films were produced by high vacuum plasma-assisted chemical vapor deposition (HVP-CVD) from dimethylzinc (DMZn) and atomic oxygen. HVP-CVD is differentiated from conventional remote plasma-enhanced CVD in that the operating pressures of the inductively coupled plasma (ICP) source and the deposition chamber are decoupled. Both DMZn and atomic oxygen effuse into the deposition chamber under near collisionless conditions. The deposition rate was measured as a function of DMZn and atomic oxygen flux on glass and silicon substrates. Optical emission spectroscopy and quadrupole mass spectrometry (QMS) were used to provide real time analysis of the ICP source and the deposition chamber. The deposition rate was found to be first order in DMZn pressure and zero order in atomic oxygen density. All films demonstrated excellent transparency and were preferentially orientated along the c-axis. The deposition chemistry occurs exclusively through surface-mediated reactions, since the collisionless transport environment eliminates gas-phase chemistry. QMS analysis revealed that DMZn was almost completely consumed, and desorption of unreacted methyl radicals was greatly accelerated in the presence of atomic oxygen. Negligible zinc was detected in the gas phase, suggesting that Zn was efficiently consumed on the substrate and walls of the reactor.