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The low-temperature growth of GaN is required to prevent cracks due to thermal expansion. The lower limit of the temperature of the GaN growth by compound source molecular beam epitaxy (CS-MBE) was estimated using the results of reflection high-energy electron diffraction and atomic force microscopy. The lower limit of the temperature of GaN growth by CS-MBE was investigated and found to be below 450 °C. The lower limit is due to the migration of atoms at the surface and the re-evaporation of excess Ga atoms. © 2004 American Vacuum Society.