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A strain-balanced quantum well tunnel junction (SB-QWTJ) device. QW structures are formed from alternating quantum well and barrier layers situated between n++ and p++ layers in a tunnel junction formed on a substrate. The quantum well layers exhibit a compressive strain with respect to the substrate, while the barrier layers exhibit a tensile strain. The composition and layer thicknesses of the quantum well and barrier layers are configured so that the compressive and tensile strains in the structure are balanced.