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Using secondary ion mass spectroscopy we have shown that oxygen incorporation in AlGaN films is dependent upon the III/V growth conditions and the growth temperature of the films. AlGaN films grown under excess group III conditions (Ga-rich) exhibited step flow growth and at least a factor of 3 less oxygen incorporation than films grown under excess group V (N-rich conditions). We found that oxygen incorporation into AlGaN decreases as the growth temperature is increased. The lowest oxygen levels were achieved by growing at 750 °C under Ga-rich growth conditions. Possible sources of unwanted oxygen are discussed. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.