We report the investigation of coherent GaN nanocrystals spontaneously formed by nitrogen-plasma-assisted reactive epitaxy with Ga droplets supported on the single crystalline Si3N4(0001)Si(111) surface. The distribution of grown GaN nanocrystals, as revealed by scanning electron microscopy and cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy, is very uniform in size (16nm) and shape and the distribution width is significantly narrower than that of Ga droplets deposited in the Volmer–Weber mode. By using high-resolution electron microscopy, the shape and crystalline structure of the self-assembled GaN nanocrystals can be determined to be truncated triangular pyramids formed by the facets of the GaN wurtzite lattice.

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