Beryllium chalcogenides have a much higher degree of covalency than other II–VI compounds. Be containing ZnSe based mixed crystals show a significant lattice hardening effect. In addition, they introduce substantial additional degrees of freedom for the design of wide gap II–VI heterostructures due to their band gaps, lattice constants, and doping behavior. Therefore, these compounds seem to be very interesting materials for short wavelength laser diodes. Here, we report on the first fabrication of laser diodes based on the wide band gap II–VI semiconductor compound BeMgZnSe. The laser diodes emit at a wavelength of 507 nm under pulsed current injection at 77 K, with a threshold current of 80 mA, corresponding to 240 A/cm2. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.