The semiconductor industry continues to push the resolution capability of lithographic processes in order to produce increasingly smaller device geometry at higher densities. To achieve these advances corresponding changes are occurring in the lithography equipment used to manufacture these devices. The wavelengths used for exposure are decreasing, numerical apertures are increasing and new off axis illumination systems are being introduced. These all have ramifications on the performance, effect and proper use of pellicles in the lithography system. At the same time the available process budgets are decreasing thereby increasing the relative effect of the pellicle contribution towards those budgets. Many of the traditional pellicle designs are no longer the optimum choice for use in high performance lithography. This study examines the effects of pellicles in high performance lithography systems.