GaN epitaxial layers and nitride-based light-emitting diodes (LEDs) structures with a conventional single low-temperature (LT) GaN buffer layer and multiple Mg(x)N(y)/GaN buffer layers were prepared by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition. It was found that crystal quality of the GaN epilayer prepared on multiple Mg(x)N(y)/GaN buffer layers was significantly better than that prepared with conventional low-temperature GaN nucleation layer. With the multiple Mg(x)N(y)/GaN buffer layers, it was also found that 20 mA LED output power can be enhanced by 12%, as compared to the conventional LED. Such an enhancement in output power could be attributed to the reduction of threading dislocation induced non-radiative recombination centers using 12-pairs Mg(x)N(y)/GaN buffer layers. Crown Copyright (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.