We report the successful growth of ZnSe and ZnSe/ZnS superlattices on GaAs by pulsed laser deposition. An XeCl excimer laser operated at 308 nm was used to ablate/evaporate Il-VI bulk targets in an ultra high vacuum enclosure. For typical growth temperatures in the range 350°–450°C we obtained epitaxial layers with excellent optical properties. The laser power and fluence were varied to produce growth rates in the range 0.1–1 Å/pulse. The photoluminescence of the pulsed laser deposited ZnSe layers showed dominant bound and free exciton features. The superlattice samples showed large blue shifts (∼400 meV) in the photoluminescence as the layer thicknesses were varied. These results are consistent with strong quantum confinement of the heavy holes in the ZnSe layers (valence band offset for ZnSe/ZnS ∼ 850±100 meV), while the electrons are not confined to either layer because of very small conduction band offsets Strong exciton photoluminescence exhibited by our samples indicates that pulsed laser deposition is a promising growth technique for the fabrication of iI-VI epitaxial layers and strained layer superlattices for visible light emitter applications.