We report on AlN wafers fabricated by hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE). AlN thick layers were grown on Si substrates by HVPE. Growth rate was up to 60 microns per hour. After the growth of AlN layers, initial substrates were removed resulting in free-standing AlN wafers. The maximum thickness of AlN layer was about 1 mm. AlN free-standing single crystal wafers with a thickness ranging from 0.05 to 0.8 mm were studied by x-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, optical absorption, and cathodoluminescence.