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We propose a planar photonic crystal microcavity design specially tailored for cavity quantum electrodynamics with a single quantum dot emitter embedded in semiconductor. With quality factor up to 45 000, mode volume smaller than a cubic optical wavelength in material, and electric field maximum located in the high-refractive index region at the cavity center, this design can enable both strong coupling and lasing with a single quantum dot exciton. The achievable range of the quality factor to mode volume ratios and the feasible fabrication of the proposed structure make it favorable to other semiconductor microcavities. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.