ZnO thin films have been grown by radio-frequency magnetron sputtering on c-plane sapphire substrates with
III-V (i.e., GaAs and InAs) intermediate layers. The intermediate layers were grown by molecular beam epitaxy. Structural
and optical properties were studied by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Raman scatterings. The growth orientations of
the ZnO/III-V/c-sapphire heterostructures were determined by off-axis XRD, i.e., x-ray pole-figure mapping. It is found
that the crystalline quality of the III-V intermediate layers play an important role in the growth of ZnO. The 30-degree inplane
rotation that usually occurs in the growth of ZnO on a c-sapphire substrate is absent due to the insertion of III-V intermediate
layers. Raman scattering, together with the XRD, reveals the relaxation of the tensile strain in the GaAs
interlayer after the ZnO thin film deposition, while the strain relaxation did not occur in the InAs interlayer.