The influence of defects on the responsivity of GaN Schottky barrier ultraviolet photodetectors with n(-)-GaN/n(+)-GaN layer structures is investigated. It is found that employing undoped GaN instead of Si-doped GaN as the n(-)-GaN layer brings about a higher responsivity due to a lower Ga vacancy concentration. On the other hand, the dislocations may increase the recombination of electron-hole pairs and enhance the surface recombination in the photodetectors. Employing undoped GaN and reducing the dislocation density in the n(-)-GaN layer are necessary to improve the responsivity of Schottky barrier photodetectors. (c) 2007 American Institute of Physics.