A GaN-based vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) has been demonstrated in an extended cavity structure. A VCSEL device had a long extended cavity, which consisted of a sapphire substrate as well as a GaN epilayer and had an integrated microlens on one side. High-reflection dielectric mirrors were deposited on both sides of the laser cavity. The laser was optically pumped and operated at room temperature. The VCSEL device lased at a low threshold excitation intensity of 160 kW/cm(2). In contrast to a conventional microcavity-VCSEL structure, the VCSEL operated in multiple longitudinal modes with mode spacing consistent with its physical thickness. (C) 2003 American Institute of Physics.