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We calculate the thermionic escape times of electrons and holes in InGaAsN and InGaAs quantum wells using the most recent input data. The short thermionic escape time of holes from the InGaAsN quantum well indicates that hole leakage may be a significant factor in the poorer temperature characteristics of InGaAsN quantum-well lasers compared to those of InGaAs devices. We suggest a structure that results in an increased escape time, which will allow the reduction of hole leakage in these devices. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.