The low-temperature performance of vertical cavity lasers (VCL's) is of interest for high-speed data transmission from superconducting and cryogenic semiconductor circuits. Our double-fused 1.5 \mum lasers employ a strain-compensated InGaAsP/InP multiquantum-well (MQW) active region that is sandwiched between two AlGaAs/GaAs distributed Bragg reflectors. Continuous wave (CW) lasing at ambient temperature as low as 7K is measured on the same type of top-emitting devices that previously lased at a record-high temperature of 337K. The optimum temperature is found at 180K giving minimum threshold current, maximum modulation bandwidth of 5 GHz, and more than 3 GHz/mA1/2 modulation current efficiency. The optimum temperature agrees very well with the theoretical prediction. Further device optimization for cryogenic high-speed applications is discussed in detail.


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