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Highly-ordered GaAs/AlGaAs quantum-dot arrays (QDA) were grown by molecular-beam epitaxy on GaAs (001) using masks of anodic nanochannel alumina (NCA). The QDA replicated the hexagonal lattice pattern of the NCA masks with period spacing of 100 nm. The circular disk-like dots were defined by the nanohole channels of NCA masks with size adjustable between 45 and 85 nm. Both single- and double-well GaAs/AlGaAs QDA exhibited strong photoluminescence. The single-well QDA showed a narrow peak at 1.64 eV with full width at half maximum of only 16 meV, indicating good size uniformity and crystal quality for the QDA. NCA masked epitaxial growth is thus shown to be a promising general approach for fabricating various heterostructure QDA, including both strained and lattice-matched heterostructures. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.