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We investigated the quantum‐size effects of quantum well (QW) on gain and threshold current density for InGaAsP/GaAs (λ=808 nm) laser diodes. In this work, a comparison is made of lasers with different QW thickness while keeping the optical confinement factors constant. We found that the threshold current density and differential efficiency were not affected by narrowing the QW thickness. The theoretical model taking into account the mixing of the valence bands and momentum relaxation for InGaAsP/GaAs lasers with spontaneous emission (optically pumped) measurement shows that the absence of difference between these structures can be attributed to the high relaxation rate. © 1996 American Institute of Physics.