Discharge instabilities in x-ray preionized F2-doped excimer laser gas mixtures are investigated using an intensified charge coupled device camera with a gating time of 300ps. In contradiction with earlier theories and observations, it is found that the discharges in HeF2 mixtures are homogeneous only at very low concentration of F2 (0.025%). We present experimental results, which prove that in HeKrF2 mixtures the appearance of discharge filaments is coupled with the presence of F2 rather than Kr.

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