Mid-infrared semiconductor laser are highly attractive sources for environmental monitoring since the spectral fingerprints of many environmentally important gases are located in the 2-3.3 μm wavelength regime accessible by gallium-antimonide technology. Here an electrically-pumped vertical-external-cavity surface-emitting laser (EP-VECSEL) was realized at 2.34 μm wavelength, using a gain mirror based on the GaSb material system. The gain mirror was grown by molecular beam epitaxy on an n-type GaSb substrate and it included a distributed Bragg reflector made of 24-pairs of AlAsSb/GaSb layers, and a gain region with 5 GaInAsSb quantum wells placed in a 3-λ thick micro-cavity. A structured buried tunnel junction (BTJ) with subsequent overgrowth was used in order to obtain efficient current confinement, reduced optical losses and increased electrical conductivity. Different components were tested with aperture sizes varying from 30 μm to 90 μm. Pulsed lasing was obtained with all tested components at 15 °C mount temperature. We obtained a maximum peak power of 1.5 mW at wavelength of 2.34 μm.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.