We experimentally demonstrated that treating a silicone elastomer by a vacuum oxygen plasma, an atmospheric pressure plasma, and vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) radiation resulted in different surface modifications that gave different contact angles, contact angle aging, and bond strengths. The aim of this study was to assess whether high-throughput surface modification techniques of atmospheric pressure plasma and VUV radiation have the potential to replace conventional oxygen plasma modification. Four silicone elastomers with different hardnesses were used as specimens. The surfaces of all four silicone elastomers were successfully modified from hydrophobic to hydrophilic and they were also bonded to glass surfaces by the three surface modification techniques, although considerable variations were observed in the surface hydrophobicity and the bonding properties. The results clearly reveal that atmospheric pressure plasma and VUV treatment have the potential to replace conventional oxygen plasma treatment. In particular, VUV irradiation produced the most hydrophilic surface that was preserved for a long time. Thus, VUV irradiation is the most promising technique for realizing high-throughput surface modification and bonding of silicone elastomers. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.