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A large tunable single frequency Sb-based VeCSEL emitting at 2.3 mum for spectroscopy applications has been developed. The gain tuning was studied in order to achieve laser operation over a broad continuous tunability. A 224 GHz mode hop free tuning range has been achieved. Compact 4 15 mm long diode-pumped VeCSELs were developed, with few milliwatts of output power and a narrow laser linewidth. It is demonstrated that thermally induced gain tuning, through the change of the spatial laser-pump overlapping during the cavity length modulation, explains the large tuning range observed.