Hollow cathodes are a common type of vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) light source with a wide range of design and application. We determined the VUV (58.4 nm) intensity distribution of a hollow cathode as a function of current and pressure. Our model describes the intensity distribution of a McPherson 629-like hollow cathode helium plasma within the range of 0.50–1.00 A and 0.50–1.00 Torr as a ring with a center peak. We found that for all pressures and currents considered, the ring emits more VUV light than the center peak. We also found that the center peak has a minimum VUV light emission near 0.9 Torr.

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