Using the pseudopotential method and the local density approximation, we present a comparative study of the atomic and electronic structure of a single monolayer deposition of Bi on III-Sb(110)-(1 x 1) surfaces, where III = Al, Ga or In. In this respect, we find that within the epitaxially continued layer structure, Bi/GaSb(110)(1 x 1) is somewhat different from the monolayer coverage of Bi and Sb on III-As(110) and III-P(110) substrates. In particular, the tilt of the Bi chain is reversed for Bi/GaSb(110). The trend in the characteristics of Bi chain on III-Sb(110) surfaces is analysed in terms of the relative atomic sizes and electronegativities of the substrate anion and cation. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.