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The thermomodulation spectrum from metal organic chemical vapor deposition grown GaN has been measured in the temperature range of 20–310 K. A theoretical model is established to explain the spectrum by considering the modulation of dielectric constant and epilayer thickness. It is found that the latter is especially important for a material system with a large difference in refractive indices between the epilayer and the substrate. The band gap energy and broadening parameter are determined using a lineshape analysis. Varshni coefficients of the energy gap are determined. The temperature dependence of broadening parameter is also measured. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.