In this paper we have characterized the performance of a vertical metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactor used for deposition of ZnO thin films. The equations of the mathematical model are solved numerically using a control-volume-based finite difference method. A two-dimensional model is put forward to study the dependence of the growth rate on the inlet flow rate and susceptor temperature. The mass-fraction distribution of the reactants has been studied as a function of the position above the substrate, which shows that gas phase pre-reaction in our reactor is well confined. The simulation results are useful for the practical growth of ZnO.