This paper describes the effect of elevated softbake temperatures, up to 150Ã‚Â°C, on the behavior of diazoquinone/novolac high resolution positive photoresists. The advantages of higher softbakes include improved thermal stablity, contrast and process latitude. For a standard g-line photoresist using a 2,1,5-diazo/THBP PAC (EPA-914-27, MacDermid Inc.), it was found that by increasing the softbake from 110° to 130°C, gamma increased from 2.4 to 3.8 and the thermal stability (the start of image rounding) increased from 120° to 130°C; while the required exposure energy increased by only about 30%. UV absorption revealed that about 90% (compared to 110°C softbake) of the diazo is retained at 130°C, and about 55% at 150°C. GPC analysis showed that resin/PAC reactions occurred to some extent at a softbake of 130°C, and extensively at 150°C. These resin/PAC interactions appear to be the source of the improved properties observed with higher softbake temperatures. Similar results were not found with 2,1,4-type resin. Several other systems were also investigated to further understand the photoresist chemistry.