Feasibility of ArF (193nm) immersion lithography is reported based on our recent experimental and theoretical studies. Local fill method of water, edge shot, high NA projection optics, focus sensing, water supply, polarization effect, polarized illumination and resist are investigated. Although we recognize there are some remaining engineering risks, we have judged that ArF immersion lithography is basically feasible and is a very promising method that can reach the half pitch required for the 45nm node. On this basis we have planned our development schedule of immersion exposure tools.© (2004) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.