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This investigation explores experimentally the optical characteristics of long-wavelength quantum-dot vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (QD VCSELs). The InAs QD VCSEL, fabricated on a GaAs substrate, is grown by molecular beam epitaxy with fully doped distributed Bragg reflectors. The optical characteristics of QD VCSEL without and with light injection are studied in detail. The QD VCSEL has the potential to be used in all-optical signal processing systems.