Raman measurements were performed on molecular beam epitaxially grown GaN before and after implantation with Ar+, Mg+, P+, C+, and Ca+ ions. With increasing ion dose, new Raman peaks arise at 300, 360, 420, and 670 cm−1, independent of the ion species. After rapid thermal annealing at temperatures between 900 and 1150 °C for 15 s, the intensities of the Raman modes decrease with increasing temperature with the exception of the 360 cm−1 mode which shows a maximum in intensity after annealing at 900 °C. The mode at 300 cm−1 is attributed to disorder-activated Raman scattering, whereas the other three modes are assigned to local vibrations of vacancy-related defects. © 1998 American Institute of Physics.