Cubic InxGa1-xN films were successfully grown on GaAs(001) substrates by metalorganic chemical-vapor deposition. The values of x content ranging from 0.10 to 0.24 obtained at different growth conditions were measured by double-crystal x-ray diffraction (XRD). The perpendicular and parallel elastic strain of the In0.2Ga0.8N layer, Є⊥=0.4% and Є||=-0.4% for GaN and Є⊥=0.37% and Є||=-0.37% for InGaN, respectively, were derived using the XRD measurements. The inhomogeneous strain and the average grain size of the In0.2Ga0.8N/GaN films were also studied by XRD. Photoluminescence spectra were used to measure the optical characterization of the InxGa1-xN thin films with different In composition, and the near-band-edge emission dependence of cubic InxGa1-xN on the x value is nearly linear with In content x≤0.24. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.