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Fully strained layers of GaInP on InP significantly thicker than the theoretical critical thickness were grown by metalorganic molecular beam epitaxy. The excess strain energy of these layers is most probably accommodated by long line defects observed by atomic force microscopy. The thickness at which the long line defects appear is about four times the Matthews and Blakeslee critical thickness [J. W. Matthews and A. E. Blakeslee, J. Cryst. Growth 27, 118 (1974)]. Partial relaxation is measured by x-ray at about 14 times the theoretical critical thickness. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.