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InGaAs strained quantum well (SQW) samples with lattice matched InGaAsP quaternary barriers are grown on GaAs substrates by metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy. These SQW samples are characterized using photoluminescence, photomodulated reflectance, surface photovoltage spectroscopy and high-resolution x-ray diffraction techniques. The results based on numerical calculations are used to identify the various transitions seen in the spectra. The effect of growth temperature on the indium content of the InGaAs SQW with lattice matched InGaAsP quaternary barriers is studied. Contrary to the reported higher value of indium incorporation in InGaAs SQW with GaAs (In-free) barriers when the growth is performed at low temperatures, we find that the indium content of the InGaAs SQW with InGaAsP (In-based) quaternary barriers decreases if the SQW is grown at lower growth temperatures. A possible explanation for this behavior is provided. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.