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Excimer laser pulses with wavelengths of 248 and 308 nm were used to selectively seed Pd on SiO2 surfaces, making them suitable for electroless plating. This novel seeding process for insulating materials is accomplished with the sample immersed in the seeding solution, and occurs only on the areas of the substrate that are illuminated (through the liquid) by the laser light. The Pd content of the seeded samples increased with the number of pulses, but was rather independent of repetition rate. The deposition rate showed a dependence with wavelength consistent with a defect driven mechanism for electron excitation through the band gap of SiO2. These electrons then reduce the Pd ions in the solution in contact with the surface.