The experimental and theoretical results of the electronic and optical properties of quantum dot artificial molecules (AMs), formed by pairs of electronically coupled quantum dots (QDs), are presented here in order to identify the necessary conditions for the development of new types of terahertz (THz) injection lasers based on intraband carrier transitions. We have performed analytical calculations to obtain the spatial strain distribution in vertically aligned (In, Ga)As QDs grown on (001) GaAs substrates by molecular beam epitaxy. Electronic coupling of the dots, mainly governed by the thickness of the separating barrier between the dot layers, is allowed due to the strain field-assisted self-organization of the dots. The calculated strain field reproduces our cross sectional high-resolution transmission electron microscopy observations very well. We further take into account the microscopic effects of the spatial strain distribution on carrier confinement potentials, and compute the electronic structure of the AM. Our calculations of the peak luminescence energies are in good agreement with our experimental results and those of others. The growth of quantum dot molecules represents a major step in tailoring the electronic and optical properties of the nanostructures.