We have investigated the molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) growth of buried InAs quantum dots on GaAs (001) surface, as a function of deposition temperature, by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and photoluminescence (PL). We found that the dot growth at low temperature is controlled by diffusion-limited aggregation. As the growth temperature increases, this growth mode is modified by misfit strain, resulting in a narrowing of the size distribution. However, we did not find any evidence for a thermodynamically optimized size. In addition, we found that the optical properties of the quantum dots does not correlate directly with the geometric size of the quantum dots, indicating a complex internal structure for quantum dots grown at high growth temperature.