Top emission 850-nm vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) demonstrating transverse mode selection via impurity-induced disordering (IID) are presented. The IID apertures are fabricated via closed ampoule zinc diffusion. A simple 1-D plane wave model based on the intermixing of Group III atoms during IID is presented to optimize the mirror loss of higher-order modes as a function of IID strength and depth. In addition, the impact of impurity diffusion into the cap layer of the lasers is shown to improve contact resistance. Further investigation of the mode-dependent characteristics of the device imply an increase in the thermal impedance associated with the fraction of IID contained within the oxide aperture. The optimization of the ratio of the IID aperture to oxide aperture is experimentally determined. Single fundamental mode output of 1.6 mW with 30 dBm side mode suppression ratio is achieved by a 3.0 μm oxide-confined device with an IID aperture of 1.3 μm indicating an optimal IID aperture size of 43% of the oxide aperture.