Crack-free GaN films have been achieved by inserting an Indoped low-temperature (LT) AlGaN interlayer grown on silicon by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition. The relationship between lattice constants c and a obtained by X-ray diffraction analysis shows that indium doping interlayer can reduce the stress in GaN layers. The stress in GaN decreases with increasing trimethylindium (TMIn) during interlayer growth. Moreover, for a smaller TMIn flow, the stress in GaN decreases dramatically when In acts as a surfactant to improve the crystallinity of the AlGaN interlayer, and for a larger TMIn flow, the stress will increase again. The decreased stress leads to smoother surfaces and fewer cracks for GaN layers by using an In-doped interlayer than by using an undoped interlayer. In doping has been found to enhance the lateral growth and reduce the growth rate of the c face. It can explain the strain relief and cracks reduction in GaN films. (C) 2008 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.