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We present a cross-sectional scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) study of heterogeneous-droplet-epitaxy (HDE)-grown InGaAs quantum dots (QDs). We found that the structural properties of HDE-grown QDs such as size, shape, etc., are quite different from that of Stranski–Krastanov (SK)-grown InGaAs QDs. HDE-grown InGaAs QDs exhibit a reverse trapezoidal shape, opposite to the SK-grown QDs. In addition, the In concentration within individual HDE QDs is rather uniform, contrary to the case in SK QDs. These HDE QDs also show large size fluctuation. However, we found that there is a size dependence in the In concentration within the QD—the larger QD has lower In concentration, suggesting a self-compensation effect which gives rise to a sharp photoluminescence linewidth. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.