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Strain-compensated InGaAsSb-AlGaAsSb quantum-well (QW) lasers emitting near 2.5 μm have been grown by solid-source molecular beam epitaxy. The relatively high arsenic composition causing a tensile strain in the Al/sub 0.25/GaAs/sub 0.08/Sb barriers lowers the valence band edge and the hole energy level, leading to an increased hole confinement and improved laser performance. A 60% external differential efficiency in pulsed mode was achieved for 1000-μm-long lasers emitting at 2.43 μm. A characteristic temperature T0 as high as 163 K and a lasing-wavelength temperature dependence of 1.02 nm//spl deg/C were obtained at room temperature. For 2000 × 200 μm2 broad-area three-QW lasers without lateral current confinement, a low pulsed threshold of 275 A/cm2 was measured.