A process for producing a silicon dioxide film on a surface of a silicon substrate. The process comprises illuminating a silicon substrate in a substantially pure oxygen atmosphere with a broad spectrum of visible and infrared light at an optical power density of from about 3 watts/cm.sup.2 to about 6 watts/cm.sup.2 for a time period sufficient to produce a silicon dioxide film on the surface of the silicon substrate. An optimum optical power density is about 4 watts/cm.sup.2 for growth of a 100.ANG.-300.ANG. film at a resultant temperature of about 400.degree. C. Deep level transient spectroscopy analysis detects no measurable impurities introduced into the silicon substrate during silicon oxide production and shows the interface state density at the SiO.sub.2 /Si interface to be very low.
The United States Government has rights in this invention under Contract No. DE AC36-83CH10093 between the United States Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a division of the Midwest Research Institute.