The effect of addition of xenon on the long term homogeneity of discharges in F2and ArF excimer laser gas mixtures was investigated in a small-volume discharge chamber. The gas mixture in the discharge chamber was preionized by X-rays. A special electrical excitation circuit containing a pulse forming line provided a long, square-shaped current pumping pulse of a predetermined duration to the discharge electrodes. The initiation and the development of the discharge was monitored via its fluorescence signal with an intensified CCD camera. We found that adding Xe up to partial pressures of 0.53 mbar extended the homogeneous phase of the discharge from 80 ns to approximately 200 ns in He/F2as well as in He/Ar/F2and Ne/Ar/F2excimer laser gas mixtures. Monitoring of the ArF and XeF spontaneous emission signals showed that the formation of ArF excimers remained unaffected by the addition of xenon (up to 1.3 mbar) to the laser gas mixture.