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Orthogonal polarizations within vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSEL) lase at slightly different wavelengths. We describe the use of optical feedback to confine polarization variations to reproducible injection currents. An external cavity is used to select specific wavelengths that reflect back into the VCSEL, hence, changing the cavity Q for the different polarization states. With this control, we can change the polarization state of the laser output. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.