The process of impurity‐induced layer disordering (IILD) or layer intermixing, in AlxGa1−xAs‐GaAs quantum well heterostructures (QWHs) and superlattices (SLs), and in related III‐V quantum well heterostructures, has developed extensively and is reviewed. A large variety of experimental data on IILD are discussed and provide newer information and further perspective on crystal self‐diffusion, impurity diffusion, and also the important defect mechanisms that control diffusion in AlxGa1−xAs‐GaAs, and in related III‐V semiconductors. Based on the behavior of Column III vacancies and Column III interstitials, models for the crystal self‐diffusion and impurity diffusion that describe IILD are reviewed and discussed. Because impurity‐induced layer disordering has proved to be an important method for III‐V quantum well heterostructure device fabrication, we also review the application of IILD to several different laser diode structures, as well as to passive waveguides. We mention that it may be possible to realize even more advanced device structures using IILD, for example, quantum well wires or quantum well boxes. These will require an even greater understanding of the mechanisms (crystal processes) that control IILD, as well as require more refined methods of pattern definition, masking procedures, and crystal processing.