Microwave plasma using a gas mixture of N2 and H2 has been applied for the nitridation of m-plane sapphire substrate to form a thick epitaxial AlN film. The X-ray diffraction results show that the AlN films formed on the sapphire surface by nitridation for a period from 10-60 min are in (100) orientation and have an epitaxial relationship with the substrate. The thickness of the nitride film increases with nitridation time and approaches about 0.5 μm after nitridation for 1 h, while the film surface becomes rough. The film quality is reasonably good, as evaluated with the X-ray rocking curve of (100) AlN. Faceted voids in the sapphire substrate underneath the AlN are also observed with inclined a-plane facets after nitridation.