In this paper some of the special features of the Pb-salt materials system which deserve special attention are reviewed. These include: lattice matching considerations, substrate preparation, liquid phase epitaxy from supercooled solutions and surface passivation. Lattice matching of a multilayer heterostructure is important since a mismatch as small as Δa/a ~ 10-3 causes many dislocations and results in poor device performance and degradation. A special mechanochemical, contactless polish has been developed to prevent any physical contact between the substrate surface and even a soft pad. Thus a bulk-like quality substrate without subsurface damage can be routinely obtained. The liquid phase epitaxial growth for heterostructure multilayers is used with highly supersaturated solutions to enhance nucleation. The lattice matching was found to be quite important during both growth and dissolution under near equilibrium conditions. A flat interface can be easily sustained when the solid in equilibrium with the melt is lattice matched to the substrate. Device emphasis in this review is on a buried heterostructure injection laser which exhibited a stabilized longitudinal mode behavior under CW operation from ~15K to above 70K. Lasing power transfer to a mode, 20-40 cavity modes away, was attributed to a "grating"-like influence imposing an additional constraint on the laser spectrum. The native passivation scheme studied resulted in substantial improvement in electrical characteristics, an increase in the RoA product of p-n junction detectors of small area devices, and a decrease of the Jth of injection lasers at low temperatures.