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InGaAsP-InP strained multiple-quantum-well (MQW) lasers for extended wavelength tunability in external cavity operation were designed, fabricated, and tested. The active layer was a strain compensated structure consisting of three 3.2/spl plusmn/0.3 nm and three 6.4/spl plusmn/0.3 nm 1.0% compressive strained wells and five 10.3/spl plusmn/0.3 nm 0.45% tensile strained barrier layers. A 2-μm-wide ridge waveguide laser of length 250 μm, when used in a grating external cavity and with no coatings to alter the reflectivity of the facets, was observed to operate over a range >110 nm. The lasers were designed for applications in trace gas and liquid detection with the goal to maximize the tunable range when operated in external cavities and with no facet coatings.