Large area, surface discharge pumped, vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) light source. A contamination-free VUV light source having a 225 cm.sup.2 emission area in the 240-340 nm region of the electromagnetic spectrum with an average output power in this band of about 2 J/cm.sup.2 at a wall-plug efficiency of approximately 5% is described. Only ceramics and metal parts are employed in this surface discharge source. Because of the contamination-free, high photon energy and flux, and short pulse characteristics of the source, it is suitable for semiconductor and flat panel display material processing.
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. W-7405-ENG-36 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to the Regents of the University of California. The government has certain rights in the invention.