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Photoswitching of a homogeneous 1‐l discharge has been tested on a specially designed excimer laser by using either an x‐ray beam or a KrF laser beam as a photoionization source. With x rays, a 1.4‐J, 4×4‐cm2, XeCl laser beam has been obtained with 1.7% efficiency and an impedance‐matched 50‐ns pulse‐forming line directly connected to the electrodes. Since the output energy seems to rise monotonically as a function of electron–ion pair initial density, even better performances should be attainable with a more intense photoionization source.