Many group II sulphides semiconductors have the rocksalt structure as their stable crystal structure. In the case of MgS and MnS it has been demonstrated that these compounds can be grown in the metastable zinc blende structure. Recently, at Heriot-Watt we have shown that a simple MBE growth procedure can be used to increase the thickness of these metastable layers to over 130 nm. In this paper, we summarise some of the results we have obtained and describe some of the structures which we have grown using these materials. The aim is to demonstrate that the growth method is simple, and that MgS in particular is a material with useful properties that can be incorporated into a variety of structures. Finally, we describe some potential uses of these compounds which we have not yet explored, and suggest other compounds which may be successfully grown with this method. © 2004 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.