We investigate the electronic structure of the GaN(101¯0) prototype surface for GaN nanowire sidewalls. We find a paradoxical situation that a surface state at all k points in the bandgap cannot be probed by conventional scanning tunneling microscopy, due to a dispersion characterized by a steep minimum with low density of states (DOS) and an extremely flat maximum with high DOS. Based on an analysis of the decay behavior into the vacuum, we identify experimentally the surface state minimum 0.6 ± 0.2 eV below the bulk conduction band in the gap. Hence, GaN nanowires with clean (101¯0) sidewall facets are intrinsically pinned.

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