It is found that both methods using either continuous Sb supply or pre-deposition of a very thin Sb layer are efficient for the Sb-assisted molecular beam epitaxy growth of highly strained InGaAs/GaAs quantum wells (QWs). The emission of QWs is extended to long wavelength close to 1.25 mu m with high luminescence efficiency at room temperature. The influence of rapid thermal annealing (RTA) on the photoluminescence intensity critically depends on the annealing temperature and duration for highly strained QWs. A relatively low RTA temperature of 700 degrees C with a short duration of 10 s is suggested for optimizing the annealing effect. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.