The optical and structural characteristics of GaN films implanted with Mg and Be ions, grown by low-pressure metalorganic chemical vapor deposition were studied. The low temperature (20 K) photoluminescence (PL) spectra of annealed Mg implanted GaN show a 356 nm near band edge emission, a 378 nm donor-acceptor (D-A) transition with phonon replicas, and a 528 nm green band deep level emission. The origin of the 528 nm green band emission and the 378 nm D-A emission might be attributed, respectively, to the Mg implantation induced clustering defect and the vacancy defect in GaN film. Observations of in-plane and out-of-plane x-ray diffraction spectra for as-grown undoped, Mg implanted and rapid thermal annealed GaN suggest that ion implantation induced anisotropic strain may be responsible for the observed PL emission characteristics. (C) 1998 American Institute of Physics. [S0021-8979(98)02711-X].