A 275 mu m thick GaN layer was directly grown on the SiO2-prepatterned sapphire in a home-built vertical hydride vapour phase epitaxy (HVPE) reactor. The variation of optical and structure characteristics were microscopically identified using spatially resolved cathodeluminescence and micro-Raman spectroscopy in a cross section of the thick film. The D X-0(A) line with the FWHM of 5.1 meV and etch- pit density of 9 x 10(6) cm(-2) illustrated high crystalline quality of the thick GaN epitaxial layer. Optically active regions appeared above the SiO2 masks and disappeared abruptly due to the tapered inversion domains at 210 - 230 mu m thickness. The crystalline quality was improved by increasing the thickness of the GaN/sapphire interface, but the region with a distance of 2 mu m from the top surface revealed relatively low quality due to degenerate surface reconstruction by residual gas reaction. The x-ray rocking curve for the symmetric (0 0 2) and asymmetric (1 0 2) reflections also showed good quality and a small wing tilt of the epitaxial lateral overgrowth (ELO) GaN.
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