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We report continuous-wave (cw) room-temperature operation of electrically pumped AlGaAs/GaAs microcylinder lasers using self-assembled InAs/GaAs quantum dots (QDs) as the active material. The threshold currents are lower than those of similar devices with an InGaAs quantum well fabricated for comparison. This is discussed in terms of nonradiative surface recombination at the sidewall of the resonator which has less influence in the case of the QD devices since the lateral carrier confinement suppresses lateral carrier diffusion. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.