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Antiresonant reflecting optical waveguide (ARROW) techniques are employed in vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) to achieve high-power single-mode emission. Using the effective-index method and fiber mode approximation, the cold-cavity lateral modal behavior for the circular shaped ARROW VCSEL demonstrates significant reduction of radiation loss from that of a single antiguide, while maintaining strong discrimination against high-order modes. The circular-waveguide is created by selective chemical etching and two-step metal-organic chemical vapor deposition growth, with proton implantation used to confine the current injection to the low-index core region. A single-mode CW power of 7.1 mW has been achieved from an 8 μm diameter ARROW device (index step Δn = 0.05, emission at λ0 = 980 nm) with a far-field FWHM of 10°. Larger aperture (12 μm) devices exhibit multimode operation at lower drive currents with a maximum single-mode continuous-wave output power of 4.3 mW.