By means of density functional theory, we argue that ferromagnetism in GaN can be induced by vacancy complexes. Spin polarization originates from the charge compensation between neutral N and Ga vacancies. Defect formation energy calculations predict that a vacancy complex of two positively charged N vacancies and one doubly negative Ga vacancy is likely to form. This defect complex induces a net moment of 1 μB, which is localized around the negative Ga center and exhibits pronounced in-plane ferromagnetic coupling. In contrast to simple Ga vacancy induced ferromagnetism, the proposed picture is in line with the fact that N vacancies have a low formation energy. Formation energies indicate mutual stabilization of the intrinsic defects in GaN.

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