Understanding and control of molecular weight-dependent properties of 193 nm photoresist polymers has received only limited attention to date. Many physical and thermal properties of polymers in general and novolak- and poly(hydroxystyrene)-based systems in particular are molecular weight dependent. Since these properties markedly influence photoresist behavior, a more detailed understanding of molecular weight effects in 193 nm polymers would be valuable. In this communication, we present a survey of some of the interplays between molecular weight, thermal properties, dissolution behavior, and lithographic performance of methacrylate-based 193 nm polymers. More specifically, this presentation comprises a discussion of discontinuities in thermal properties surrounding the polymer critical entanglement molecular weight in methacrylate 193 nm polymers including the IBM Version 2 and Version 3 platforms. Tg vs. molecular weight curves for both platforms are in good agreement with predictions of the Gibbs-DiMarzio model and reveal that Mcrit is ca. 8,000 for these systems. Lithographic characterization at, below, and above this molecular weight reveals failure due to fraying and line collapse at low molecular weight, failure due to excessive bottom scumming at high molecular weight, and best performance at or near Mcrit.