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The properties of a type of (AlGa)As double‐heterojunction laser with buried cavity are studied as a function of current and of delay after the start of a 10‐μs square current pulse. It is found that the waveguide walls are rigid, for the mode shapes, mode dispersion, threshold, efficiency, and power‐current characteristic are independent of current and delay. The spectra are also independent of delay except for a wavelength shift from the change of temperature. The modes are tightly confined with a half‐width of 2 μm of the fundamental mode at the facet. The two lowest spatial modes dominate the emission, which is almost completely contained in one spectral doublet. The power in each member of the doublet (single‐mode power) is linear in junction voltage from less than 100 μW to the full output of 3 mW, with slope giving a critical power P*≈10 mW as in wide lasers with rigid guides. The strong doublet is transferred to successively longer wavelength modes as the current or delay is increased. The transfer suggests that a narrow gain profile is being swept past the cavity modes by a rise in temperature.