This study reports on the growth of high-quality nonpolar m-plane  InN films on free-standing m-plane GaN substrates by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy. Optimized growth conditions (In/N ratio ~1 and T=390-430 degrees C) yielded very smooth InN films with undulated features elongated along the  orientation. This directionality is associated with the underlying defect structure shown by the anisotropy of x-ray rocking curve widths parallel to the  (i.e., 0.24 degrees -0.34 degrees ) and  (i.e., 1.2 degrees -2.7 degrees ) orientations. Williamson-Hall analysis and transmission electron microscopy identified the mosaic tilt and lateral coherence length and their associations with different densities of dislocations and basal-plane stacking faults. Ultimately, very low band gap energies of ~0.67 eV were measured by optical absorption similar to the best c-plane InN.
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