The use of attenuated phase-shift masking materials is being considered as one of the key resolution enhancement techniques for sub-0.18 micrometers lithography. In addition to proper optical performance, films for use at DUV and 193 nm wavelengths require suitable plasma etch characteristics and stability at mask exposure levels of pulse excimer lasers. This may limit practical materials to those which allow suitably volatile etch bi-products and possess stable stoichiometric composition. Several film families have been produced which can deliver a (pi) phase shift and 4 - 15% transmission within a single films thickness including Al/AlN, MoSiO, TaSiO, Zr/ZrN, SixNy, and TaN/Si3N4. Of these materials, TaSiO, SixNy, and TaN/Si3N4, allow for adequate plasma etch performance with selectivity to fused silica and resist. Excimer laser 193 nm exposure at fluences corresponding to mask exposure levels show some degree of optical degradation of materials prone to oxidation.