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We have investigated the radiative properties of InGaN disks in GaN nanowires grown by plasma enhanced molecular beam epitaxy on (001) silicon substrates. The growth of the nanowire heterostructures has been optimized to maximize the radiative efficiency, or internal quantum efficiency (IQE), for photoluminescence emission at λ = 650 nm. It is found that the IQE increases significantly (by ∼10%) to 52%, when post-growth passivation of nanowire surface with silicon nitride or parylene is applied. The increase in efficiency is supported by radiative- and nonradiative lifetimes derived from data obtained from temperature dependent- and time-resolved photoluminescence measurements. Light emitting diodes with p-i-n disk-in-nanowire heterostructures passivated with parylene have been fabricated and characterized.