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The two-dimensional photonic crystal (2-D PhC) structure has been investigated as a method for lateral mode control of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs). The 2-D PhC structures were designed using an equivalent index model developed for photonic crystal fibers combined with a plane wave expansion method. The etching depth dependence of the PhC structure was incorporated for the first time to design practical devices. 2-D PhC-confined VCSELs are demonstrated to operate in single PhC-confined mode using either a single- or seven-point defect.