The MBE growth of InxGa1−xAs (x ∼ 0.53) on silicon substrates has been investigated emphasizing the effects of substrate orientation and buffer layers between In0.53Ga0.47As and Si. It is shown that growth on silicon substrates misoriented from (001) toward a  direction eliminates the presence of antiphase domains. The best In0.53Ga0.47As surface morphology was obtained when a 0.9 μm epitaxial Si buffer was initially grown, followed by a pre-exposure of the silicon surface to As4 at 350 °C, followed by the growth of In0.53Ga0.47As. Threading dislocations, stacking faults, low-angle grain boundaries, and spinodal decomposition were observed by TEM in the InGaAs layers. The spinodal contrast scale was shown to depend on the buffer type and the total InGaAs thickness. Thick buffers consisted of GaAs or graded InxGa1−xAs layers, and large In0.53Ga0.47As thicknesses favor the development of a coarse-scale spinodal decomposition with periodicity around 0.1 μm. Thin GaAs buffers or direct In0.53Ga0.47As growth on Si may result in a fine-scale decomposition of periodicity ∼10 nm. The principal strain direction of the spinodal decomposition appeared along the [1$\overline 1$0] direction, parallel to the vicinal Si surface step edges. InGaAs immiscibility affects the InGaAs growth process, favoring a 3-D growth mode. X-ray diffraction measurements and photoreflectance spectra indicated that the sample quality was improved for samples exhibiting a fine-scale spinodal decomposition contrast even if they contained a higher dislocation density. Threading dislocations run almost parallel to the  growth axis and are not affected by strained layers and short period (InAs)3/(GaAs)3 superlattices. The lowest double crystal diffractometry FWHM for the (004) InGaAs reflection was 720 arc sec and has been obtained growing InGaAs directly on Si, while the lowest dislocation density was 3 × 109 cm−2 and was obtained using a 1.5 μm GaAs buffer before the In0.53Ga0.47As deposition.