193 immersion lithography has reached its maximal achievable resolution. There are mainly two lithographic strategies that will enable continued increase in resolution. Those are being pursued in parallel. The first is extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography and the second is double patterning (exposure) lithography. EUV lithography is counted on to be available in 2013 time frame for 22 nm node. Unfortunately, this technology has suffered several delays due to fundamental problems with source power, mask infrastructure, metrology and overall reliability. The implementation of EUV lithography in the next five years is unlikely due to economic factors. Double patterning lithography (DPL) is a technology that has been implemented by the industry and has already shown the proof of concept for the 22nm node. This technique while expensive is the only current path forward for scaling with no fundamental showstoppers for the 32nm and 22nm nodes. Double exposure lithography (DEL) is being proposed as a cost mitigating approach to advanced lithography. Compared to DPL, DEL offers advantages in overlay and process time, thus reducing the cost-of-ownership (CoO). However, DEL requires new materials that have a non-linear photoresponse. So far, several approaches were proposed for double exposure lithography, from which Optical Threshold Layer (OTL) was found to give the best lithography performance according to the results of the simulation. This paper details the principle of the OTL approach. A photochromic polymer was designed and synthesized. The feasibility of the material for application of DEL was explored by a series of evaluations.© (2009) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.