GaN epilayers were implanted with Eu to fluences of 1×10^13 Eu/cm2 and 1×10^15 Eu/cm2. Post-implant thermal annealing was performed in ultra-high nitrogen pressures at temperatures up to 1450 ºC. For the lower fluence effective structural recovery of the crystal was observed for annealing at 1000 ºC while optical activation could be further improved at higher annealing temperatures. The higher fluence samples also reveal good optical activation; however, some residual implantation damage remains even for annealing at 1450 ºC which leads to a reduced incorporation of Eu on substitutional sites, a broadening of the Eu luminescence lines and to a strongly reduced fraction of optically active Eu ions. Possibilities for further optimization of implantation and annealing conditions are discussed.© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.