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Aluminum-free buried-heterostructure quantum-well lasers have been successfully fabricated on low-composition InGaAs substrates. Selective-area metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) was utilized to investigate a variety of InGaAs quantum wells with a wide range of composition and thickness. Compressively strained quantum wells can be deposited thicker on substrates of InGaAs than GaAs before the generation of misfit dislocations. These deeper potential wells enable laser diodes with longer wavelengths (1.1504 μm) than GaAs-based emitters and higher characteristic temperatures (145 K) than InP-based devices.