Bottom-patterned compliant substrates can be used to laterally modulate the properties of a mismatched epilayer. At temperatures where strain-dependent growth kinetics are significant, the GaAs bottom pattern compliant substrates affected the growth of strained InGaAs epilayers by causing lateral modulation in material height. Spatially aligned mounds and quantum dots were observed on the samples grown at high temperatures. A new mounding mechanism was observed on InGaAs layers grown on the compliant substrates. Strain-dependent growth kinetics and the bottom patterned compliant substrate are used to explain these effects. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.