A free-standing GaN template grown by hydride vapor phase epitaxy has been characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The TEM investigation was augmented by x-ray diffraction, defect delineation etching process followed by imaging with atomic force microscopy and variable temperature photoluminescence. The density of dislocations near the N face was determined to be, in order, 3±1×107, 4±1×107,
and about 1×107 cm−2
by cross-sectional TEM, plan-view TEM, and a defect revealing etch, respectively. The same methods on the Ga face revealed the defect concentration to be, in order, less than 1×107 cm−2
by plan-view TEM, less than 5×106 cm−2
by cross-sectional TEM, and 5×105 cm−2
by defect revealing hot H3PO4
acid, respectively. 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 (104)
peak was 103 and 140 arc sec for Ga and N faces, respectively. The donor bound exciton linewidth was about 1 meV each at 10 K, and a green band centered at about 2.44 eV was observed. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.