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We demonstrate a two-dimensional photonic crystal defect laser diode based on a coupled cavity waveguide. The laser cavity is formed by 40 coupled hexagonal defect microcavities in a triangular lattice of air cylinders, which are etched into an InGaAsP/InP laser structure. The coupling of the individual cavity modes creates minibands within the photonic band gap. Stable single-mode lasing occurs on the first miniband mode with the lowest group velocity with side mode suppression greater than 40 dB. The lasers emit up to 2.6 mW at a 1.53 μm wavelength under continuous-wave operation at room temperature. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.