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Various high-index-contrast sub-wavelength grating (HCG) mirror designs have been investigated. It reveals that transverse magnetic (TM-) and transverse electric (TE-) HCG reflect the incident fields in quite different ways and that the TM-HCG enables very thin gap below the grating. Based on these results, a new HCG VCSEL design with a thin oxide gap has been suggested. The thin oxide gap structure has a number of advantages including easier fabrication, better mechanical stability, and very strong single-mode properties.