The effect of rapid thermal annealing (RTA) on the optical properties of GaNxAs1-x/GaAs strained single quantum well (SQW) was studied by low-temperature photoluminescence (PL). The GaNxAs1-x/GaAs SQW structures were prepared by dc active nitrogen plasma assisted molecular beam epitaxy. PL measurements on a series of samples with different well widths and nitrogen compositions were used to evaluate the effects of RTA. The annealing temperature and time were varied from 650 to 850 °C and 30 s to 15 min, respectively. Remarkable improvements of the optical properties of the samples were observed after RTA under optimum conditions. The interdiffusion constants have been calculated by taking into account error function diffusion and solving the Schrodinger equation. The estimated interdiffusion constants D are 10-17–10-16 cm2/s for the earlier annealing conditions. Activation energies of 6–7 eV are obtained by fitting the temperature dependence of the interdiffusion constants. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.