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We present 1.55-μm wavelength buried tunnel junction InGaAlAs-InP vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers with low threshold current and high efficiency. An improved mirror design is accomplished with high-reflective low-loss epitaxial InGaAlAs-InAlAs and hybrid dielectric CaF2-ZnS-Au layer stacks, respectively. Lasers with aperture diameters of only around 5 μm exhibit continuous-wave single-mode output powers at room temperature well beyond 2 mW. Threshold voltages and series resistances as low as 0.9 V and 30-40 /spl Omega/ have been measured. The spectral behavior shows excellent performance over the relevant current and temperature range.