We report the magnetic properties of c- and m-plane GaN : Gd films grown on different substrate materials. Additionally, we have investigated the magnetic behaviour of the bare substrates in order to analyse their possible contribution on the properties of this material system. For the growth of c-phase GaN : Gd we have used 6H–SiC(0 0 0 1) and GaN/Al2O3 templates. Whereas templates only exhibit a diamagnetic behaviour, the SiC substrates show clear signatures of ferromagnetism at room temperature. Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy and secondary ions mass spectrometry have revealed traces of Fe in the SiC substrates. This Fe contamination seems to be related to the ferromagnetic ordering observed in these substrates. LiAlO2(0 0 1) is a good choice for growth of m-plane diluted nitrides due to its diamagnetic behaviour. The hysteresis loops of c- and m-phase GaN : Gd deposited on template and LiAlO2, respectively, show coercivity and magnetic saturation. These characteristics together with the magnetization curves are indications of an intrinsic ferromagnetic behaviour in the GaN : Gd.
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