In this work, low temperature growth of GaAs epitaxial layers on Ge substrates by metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy has been studied. The experiments show that a growth temperature of 530°C and a V/III ratio of 3.5 result in smooth GaAs surfaces. Atomic force micrographs do not show any anti-phase boundaries on the surface of GaAs grown on a misoriented substrate. X-ray diffraction curves show that the layer tilt is reduced as the growth temperature is lowered. Synchrotron X-ray topography reveals very low threading dislocation densities of 300 cm-2 for the GaAs epitaxial layers. Additionally, no misfit dislocations are observed. If a single layer is deposited at low temperature, secondary ion mass spectrometry shows a considerably reduced arsenic diffusion into Ge. When an additional layer is deposited at higher temperature on top of the initial low temperature layer, a substantial increase for the deep concentration-dependent arsenic diffusion is found.