In this paper, we examine Si and Te ion implant damage removal in GaN as a function of implantation dose, and implantation and annealing temperature. Transmission electron microscopy shows that amorphous layers, which can result from high-dose implantation, recrystallize between 800 and 1100 °C to very defective polycrystalline material. Lower-dose implants (down to 5×1013 cm−2), which are not amorphous but defective after implantation, also anneal poorly up to 1100 °C, leaving a coarse network of extended defects. Despite such disorder, a high fraction of Te is found to be substitutional in GaN both following implantation and after annealing. Furthermore, although elevated-temperature implants result in less disorder after implantation, this damage is also impossible to anneal out completely by 1100 °C. The implications of this study are that considerably higher annealing temperatures will be needed to remove damage for optimum electrical properties. © 1998 American Institute of Physics.