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Polarization sensitive measurements, in real units, of gain and spontaneous emission of GaInP lasers with three strain and well-width combinations allow us to isolate the intrinsic effects of strain when the well width is also adjusted to maintain a fixed output wavelength. Varying tensile strain and well width, for 635 nm operation, have no effect on transverse magnetic polarized recombination at fixed gain, which is consistent with a constant effective mass in the uppermost valence band, but the total transparency current decreases from 116 to 83 A cm-2 due to increasing separation of light and heavy hole bands. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.
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