Semiconductor companies have been successful in introducing new process technology generations every two years. In order to maintain this accelerated pace, 157nm technology is schedule to be introduced in late 2003. Although there are still several obstacles to achieving this goal, there has been considerable progress in the 157nm program. The solution to 157nm technology is however, not complete without an antireflective coating. This paper describes in detail the various design considerations for an antireflective layer for 157nm lithography. These considerations involve a) multilayer system vs. single layer, b) optical constants, c) screening of chromophore, d) etch rate, and e) lithography. This paper will show the optical constants necessary to maintain less than 2% reflectance for single layer systems (1st and 2nd min) and bilayer systems (3rd and 4th min). Additionally, it will demonstrate that it is possible to control k value of the antireflective layer in the range of 0.2 to 0.5. It will be shown that materials with both high k value and etch selectivity >1 can be designed for 1st min single layer applications. Lastly, resist profiles were generated using currently available 157nm photoresist and a commercial BARC.