We investigate the use of growth interruption to obtain low-density InAs quantum dots (QDs) on GaAs. The process was realized by Ostwald-type ripening of a thin InAs layer. It was found that the optical properties of the QDs as a function of growth interruption strongly depend on InAs growth rate. By using this approach, a low density of QDs (4 dots/mu m(2)) with uniform size distribution was achieved. As compared to QDs grown without growth interruption, a larger energy separation between the QD confined levels was observed, suggesting a situation closer to the ideal zero-dimensional system. Combining with an InGaAs capping layer such as In-rich QDs enable 1.3 mu m emission at 4 K. (C) 2008 American Institute of Physics. [DOI: 10.1063/1.3000483]