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The optical properties of catalyst-free AlN nanowires grown on Si substrates by molecular beam epitaxy were investigated. Such nanowires are nearly free of strain, with strong free exciton emission measured at room temperature. The photoluminescence intensity is significantly enhanced, compared to previously reported AlN epilayer. Moreover, the presence of phonon replicas with an energy separation of $100 meV was identified to be associated with the surface-optical phonon rather than thedoi:10.1063/1.4881558 fatcat:k6ehic5yxnhbleorlctasj3tqu