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Our investigation has revealed that the preionization electron density and the spatial distribution of the preionization electrons could play an important role for the scaling of discharge pumped lasers. The KrF laser energy, pulse width, and laser output burn pattern were strongly dependent on the preionization electron density. The spatial uniformity of the preionization in parallel to the electric field affected the discharge uniformity. A more efficient power deposition was obtained in the stronger preionized region of the laser gas mixture.