A free-standing 300-mm-thick GaN template grown by hydride vapor phase epitaxy has been characterized for its structural and optical properties using x-ray diffraction, defect delineation etch followed by imaging with atomic force microscopy, and variable temperature photoluminescence. The Ga face and the N face of the c-plane GaN exhibited a wide variation in terms of the defect density. The defect concentrations on Ga and N faces were about 53105 cm22 for the former and about 13107 cm22 for the latter. The full width at half maximum of the symmetric ~0002! x-ray diffraction peak was 69 and 160 arc sec for the Ga and N faces, respectively. That for the asymmetric ~10–14! peak was 103 and 140 arc sec for Ga and N faces, respectively. The donor bound exciton linewidth as measured on the Ga and N faces ~after a chemical etching to remove the damage! is about 1 meV each at 10 K. Instead of the commonly observed yellow band, this sample displayed a green band, which is centered at about 2.44 eV.
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