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InGaN multi‐quantum well (MQW) structure laser diodes (LDs) with various different cavity lengths were fabricated on sapphire substrates with (112¯0) orientation (A face). The external differential quantum efficiency was obtained as a function of the cavity length. An internal quantum efficiency of 86%, an intrinsic loss of 54 cm-1 and a threshold gain of 110 cm-1 were obtained. Measuring the pulse response of the LDs, a carrier lifetime of 2.5 ns was obtained. A threshold carrier density was calculated as 1.3×1019/cm3. The emission wavelength of the LDs was around 406 nm. © 1996 American Institute of Physics.