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After obtaining an epitaxially laterally overgrown GaN on sapphire by the metalorganic chemical vapor deposition method, GaN growth was continued up to a thickness of 200 μm by a hydride vapor phase epitaxy method. The InGaN multi-quantum-well-structure laser diode (LD) was grown on a free-standing GaN substrate, which was obtained by removing the sapphire substrate. The LDs with cleaved mirror facets showed an output power as high as 160 mW under room-temperature continuous-wave (CW) operation. The fundamental transverse mode was observed up to an output power of 80 mW. The lifetime of the LDs at a constant output power of 5 mW was about 180 h under CW operation at an ambient temperature of 50 °C, due to a high threshold current density of 14 kA/cm2. © 1998 American Institute of Physics.