The effect of the in situ substrate nitridation time on the electrical, structural and optical properties of GaN films grown on Si(111) substrates by metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) was investigated. A thin buffer layer of silicon nitride (SiNx) with various thicknesses was achieved through the nitridation of the substrate at different nitridation times ranging from 0 to 660 s. The surface roughness of the GaN film, which was grown on the Si substrate 10 s, exhibited a root mean square (RMS) value of 1.12 nm for the surface roughness. However, further increments in the nitridation times in turn cause increments in the surface roughness in the GaN layers. The number of threading dislocation (TD) was counted from plan-view TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy) images. The determined density of these threading dislocations was of the order of 9×109 cm-2. The sheet resistances of the GaN layers were measured. The average sheet resistance significantly increases from 2867 Ω sq-1 for sample A (without nitridation) to 8124 Ω sq-1 for sample F (with 660 s nitridation). The photoluminescence (PL) measurements of the samples nitridated at various nitridation times were done at a temperature range of 10-300 K. A strong band edge PL emission line, which was centered at approx. 3.453 eV along with its phonon replicas which was separated by approx. 92 meV in successive orders, was observed at 10 K. The full width at half maximum (FWHM) of this peak is approx. 14 meV, which indicates the reasonable optical quality of the GaN epilayers grown on Si substrate. At room temperature, the peak position and FWHM of this emission became 3.396 eV and 58 meV, respectively. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.