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The surface morphology of GaN is observed by atomic force microscopy for growth on GaN and AlN buffer layers and as a function of III/V flux ratio. Films are grown on sapphire substrates by molecular beam epitaxy using a radio frequency nitrogen plasma source. Growth using GaN buffer layers leads to N-polar films, with surfaces strongly dependent on the flux conditions used. Flat surfaces can be obtained by growing as Ga-rich as possible, although Ga droplets tend to form. Ga-polar films can bedoi:10.1557/s1092578300002829 fatcat:t64o4z5r5fdollcbu5xxwfrdse