Si/Si0.8Ge0.2/Si(001) structures were grown at various growth temperatures (250 ∼ 760 °C) using molecular beam epitaxy, and the variation of strain and microstructure of the film was investigated using double crystal X-ray diffractometry and transmission electron microscopy. SiGe films with good single crystallinity were obtained at the growth temperatures of 440 ∼ 600 °C. For the samples grown below 350 °C, an amorphous SiGe film was developed over the SiGe single crystalline layer with a jagged amorphous/crystalline (a/c) interface, and many defects such as stacking faults and microtwins were formed below the a/c interface. Dislocations were developed through out the films for the samples grown above 680 °C. In addition, for the samples grown below 680 °C, the amount of in-plane strain of the SiGe film was found to be about − 8×l0−3 without strain relaxation. However, the SiGe films grown at 760 °C have small in-plain strain of − 4×l0−3 and large strain relaxation of 50%.