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The emission-energy tuning mechanism in InAs quantum dots using a thin upper confinement layer (UCL) was investigated. By comparing the emission-energy tuning ability of InGaP and InGaAs UCLs in InAs/UCL dot structures, strain adjustment rather than mass transport was identified as the dominant mechanism responsible for emission-energy tuning in the InAs quantum dots. An explanation of the general emission-energy tuning behavior by the UCL was given based on strain adjustment mechanism.