Non-polar (a-plane) InGaN–GaN multiple quantum wells (MQWs) on the GaN nanorod epitaxially lateral overgrowth templates with different nanorod height have been fabricated. The average in-plane strain in the InGaN MQWs has been determined from 2.73 x 10<sup>-2</sup> to 2.58 x 10<sup>-2</sup> while the nanorod height in templates increases from 0 to 1.7 <i>μ</i>m. The polarization ratio of the emission from InGaN MQWs varies from 85 % to 53 % along with the increase of the GaN nanorod height. The reduction of polarization ratio has been attributed to the partial strain relaxation within the epitaxial structures as a result of growth on the GaN nanorod templates and the micro-size air-voids observed in the nanorod templates.
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