Metal organic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE) of GaN has been carried out using diethyl gallium chloride (DEGaCl) and ammonia. The growth rate and efficiency of the DEGaCl-based growth decreases with increasing temperature when compared to trimethyl gallium (TMG)-based growth under similar conditions. Both low temperature buffer and the high temperature GaN layers were grown using the DEGaCl-NH3 precursor combination on the basal plane of sapphire and compared to similar structures grown using TMG and NH3. DEGaCl-based growth reveals an improved growth behavior under identical growth conditions to the conventional TMGa and ammonia growth. X-ray, Hall, and atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements have been carried out on these samples providing a direct comparison of materials properties associated with these growth precursors. For the DEGaCl-based growth, the x-ray rocking curve line width, using the (0002) reflection, is as low as 300 arcsec on a 2.5-micron thick film. A RMS surface roughness of ∼0.5nm measured over a 10×10 micron area.