Zinc oxide is a white colored, inorganic compound that is insoluble in water. The material is used widely as an additive to products such as rubber, plastic, glass, ceramics, cement, adhesives, and paints on the one hand, and cosmetic and skincare materials on the other.
Today, Zinc Oxide is used increasingly in the making of sunscreen products, ointments, acne treatment and make-up. This is because Zinc Oxide offers UV protection, skin healing, astringent and soothing qualities. Sunscreens which contain Zinc Oxide filter out UV rays, preventing them from penetrating the skin and causing damage, whereas the anti-inflammatory effect of Zinc Oxide is because when it is applied to a wound, it provides the body with the extra Zinc it needs to repair skin cells.
Zinc Oxide (ZnO) has high stability and a high thermal operating range, which also makes it a suitable material for semiconductor devices. To manufacture semiconductor devices, Zinc Oxide is provided as a substrate material– as sizable single crystal boules which can be sliced into wafers. This single crystal substrate of Zinc Oxide is used for the epitaxial growth–the deposition of a crystalline over-layer on a crystalline substrate– of thin films of metal oxides or nitrides. These, in turn are used in the making of semiconductor devices such UV light emitters, visible light emitting diodes (LEDs) and laser diodes (LDs).