Properties of the interface between the epitaxial layer of heavily doped Al0.48In0.52As:Si and the InP(Fe) substrate are investigated by photoluminescence in AlInAs:Si/InP(Fe) heteroestructures grown by molecular beam epitaxy. The effect on heterostructure optical properties of including a thin Al0.22Ga0.26In0.52As:Si layer at the interface is investigated as well. To explain the different interface emission energies observed, the results are analyzed by using the mixed-type I–II interface model, which considers in the type II interface a narrow InAs well, with variable width, between AlInAs and InP. The observation of the interface emission at energies as high as 1.36 eV, at low excitation intensity, is explained taking into account the high doping level of the samples. The observed interface transition luminescence thermal quenching is tentatively explained by analyzing the spatial distribution of electrons in the triangular quantum well formed at the type II interface (or at the mixed I–II interface) as a function of the temperature. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.