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We report on the effects of uniaxial pressure on (001)-oriented AlGaAs/GaAs and InAs/AlSb/GaSb double barrier resonant tunneling diodes (RTDs). The current–voltage characteristics of the AlGaAs/GaAs RTDs shift asymmetrically due to stress-induced piezoelectric fields in the barriers and well structures. Although all the materials involved are piezoelectric, the interband InAs/AlSb/GaSb resonant tunneling device surprisingly shows, in contrast to the AlGaAs/GaAs one, a symmetrical behavior for the same orientation  of the applied pressure. We explain the observed differences considering the different tunneling paths involved in the conduction mechanism of the two heterostructure device types as well as their pressure dependencies. © 1998 American Institute of Physics.