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Active regions containing both compressive- and tensile-strained quantum wells can he used to fabricate dual-polarization lasers and polarization insensitive amplifiers. We present experimental and theoretical results of dual-polarization lasers operating at 1.55 μm. A six quantum-well laser structure containing alternately placed compressive- and tensile-strained quantum wells was found to lase in both transverse electric (TE) and transverse magnetic (TM) polarizations simultaneously. The temperature characteristics of these devices are analyzed theoretically and found to depend strongly on the choice of the barrier band gap.