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We investigate how growth parameters may be chosen to obtain high quality GaAs nanowires suitable for optoelectronic device applications. Growth temperature and precursor flows have a significant effect on the morphology, crystallographic quality, intrinsic doping and optical properties of the resulting nanowires. Significantly, we find that low growth temperature and high arsine flow rate improve nanowire optical properties, reduce carbon impurity incorporation and drastically reduce planar crystallographic defects. Additionally, cladding the GaAs nanowire cores in an AlGaAs shell enhances emission efficiency. These high quality nanowires should create new opportunities for optoelectronic devices.