A GaAs defect-free epitaxial layer has been grown on Si via a Ge concentration graded SiGe on insulator (SGOI) for application in high channel-mobility metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistor. The SGOI layer, 42 nm thick, serves as the compliant and intermediate buffer to reduce the lattice and thermal expansion mismatches between Si and GaAs. A modified two-step Ge condensation technique achieves the surface Ge concentration in SGOI as high as 71%. It is also found that low-temperature migration enhanced epitaxy during the initial GaAs nucleation on the SGOI surface is critical to obtain a device quality GaAs layer by epitaxial growth. (C) 2007 American Institute of Physics.