We conduct a theoretical analysis of the design, fabrication, and performance measurement of high-power and high-brightness strained quantum-well lasers emitting at 0.98 /spl mu/m. The material system of interest consists of an Al-free InGaAs-InGaAsP active region and AlGaAs cladding layers. Some key parameters of the laser structure are theoretically analyzed, and their effects on the laser performance are discussed. The laser material is grown by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition and demonstrates high quality with low-threshold current density, high internal quantum efficiency, and extremely low internal loss. High-performance broad-area multimode and ridge-waveguide single-mode laser devices are fabricated. For 100-/spl mu/m-wide stripe lasers having a cavity length of 800 /spl mu/m, a high slope efficiency of 1.08 W-A, a low vertical beam divergence of 34/spl deg/, a high output power of over 4.45 W, and a very high characteristic temperature coefficient of 250 K were achieved. Lifetime tests performed at 1.2-1.3 W (12-13 mW//spl mu/m) demonstrates reliable performance. For 4-/spl mu/m-wide ridge waveguide single-mode laser devices, a maximum output power of 394 mW and fundamental mode power up to 200 mW with slope efficiency of 0.91 mW//spl mu/m are obtained.