Methods are disclosed for growing group III-nitride semiconductor compounds with advanced buffer layer technique. In an embodiment, a method includes providing a suitable substrate in a processing chamber of a hydride vapor phase epitaxy processing system. The method includes forming an AlN buffer layer by flowing an ammonia gas into a growth zone of the processing chamber, flowing an aluminum halide containing precursor to the growth zone and at the same time flowing additional hydrogen halide or halogen gas into the growth zone of the processing chamber. The additional hydrogen halide or halogen gas that is flowed into the growth zone during buffer layer deposition suppresses homogeneous AlN particle formation. The hydrogen halide or halogen gas may continue flowing for a time period while the flow of the aluminum halide containing precursor is turned off.