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Selective growth behavior of InP through narrow openings (<2 μm) by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) was investigated. The lateral overgrowth was observed to be significantly affected by both the opening width and orientation. The lateral overgrowth showed a 'diffraction-like' behavior, with the lateral overgrowth length increasing with decreasing opening width. The application of InP lateral overgrowth to InP/InGaAs heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) is proposed and the device behaviors of the HBT prototypes with the extrinsic base laterally overgrown on buried SiO2 are demonstrated.