The structural properties of InAs/(GaIn)Sb and (InGa)As/GaSb superlattices (SLs), grown by solid-source molecular-beam epitaxy on (0 0 1) GaAs substrates using a strain relaxed GaSb or InAs buffer layer or directly on (0 0 1) InAs substrates, were analyzed by high-resolution X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy. The residual strain within the SL was found to depend critically on the type of interface bonds, which can be either InSb- or GaAs-like. Thus, to achieve lattice matching to the buffer layer or substrate by strain compensation within the SL stack, the controlled formation of the interface bonds is vital. On the other hand, minimization of the residual strain is shown to be a prerequisite for achieving a high photoluminescence yield and high responsivities for InAs/(GaIn)Sb SL based IR detectors. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.