GaN epitaxial layers with embedded air voids grown on patterned SiO 2 AlN/sapphire templates were proposed. Using interruption-free epitaxial lateral overgrowth technology, we realized uninterrupted growth and controlled the shape of embedded air voids. These layers showed improved crystal quality using X-ray diffraction and measurement of etching pits density. Compared with conventional undoped-GaN film, the full width at half-maximum of the GaN (0 0 2) and (1 0 2) peaks decreased from 485 arcsec to 376 arcsec and from 600 arcsec to 322 arcsec, respectively. Transmission electron microscopy results showed that the coalesced GaN growth led to bending threading dislocation. We also proposed a growth model based on results of scanning electron microscopy.