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Direct formation of large-area carbon thin films on gallium nitride by chemical vapor deposition without metallic catalysts is demonstrated. A high flow of ammonia is used to stabilize the surface of the GaN (0001)/sapphire substrate during the deposition at 950°C. Various characterization methods verify that the synthesized thin films are largely sp2 bonded, macroscopically uniform, and electrically conducting. The carbon thin films possess optical transparencies comparable to that of exfoliated graphene. This paper offers a viable route toward the use of carbon-based materials for future transparent electrodes in III-nitride optoelectronics, such as GaN-based light emitting diodes and laser diodes.