The photosensitivity of germanium free Bi-Al-doped silica fibers with different bismuth concentrations was investigated using ArF excimer laser radiation at 193 nm and fiber grating formation. For the fiber with the highest bismuth concentration maximum refractive index changes of 2.2 x 10(-3) and 2.0 x 10(-4) were obtained for hydrogen loaded and unloaded fibers, respectively. Irradiation induced tensile stress changes were observed in the fiber core of H-2-loaded and unloaded fibers. The results indicate a contribution of compaction to the total refractive index change in both cases. (C)2011 Optical Society of America