In Selete, we have developed various resolution-enhancement technologies (RETs) such as the alternating phase shifting mask (alt-PSM), attenuated-PSM (att-PSM), and off-axis illumination (OAI). The alt-PSM, for example, reduces the k1 factor and extends the lithographic performance. A problem concerning the alt-PSM is the difference in the transmitted light intensities of the non-phase-shifting region and the phase-shifting region which can cause critical-dimension (CD) placement error. The transmitted light intensities of the two regions can be made equal by side-etching, in which the quartz (Qz) is undercut by wet-etching at the side of the transmitting region. We sought to optimize the mask structure in terms of a high numerical aperture (NA) through a simulation using two kinds of structures with a 157 nm exposure wavelength. The structures were a single-trench structure and a dual-trench structure, with each trench dug in the transmitting region. To attain a high NA (NA equals 0.85), we tried to optimize the parameters of the Cr film thickness, the amount of the undercut (side-etching), and the phase shift. The evaluated line pattern sizes were 70 nm (line/space size equals 70/70 nm, 70/140 nm, 70/210 nm, and 70/350 nm) and 50 nm (line/space size equals 50/50 nm, 50/100 nm, 50/150 nm, and 50/250 nm) at the wafer. Further, using the optimized mask, we calculated the lithographic margin of a sub 70 nm pattern through a simulation. For the 70 nm line patterns, we found that it will be difficult to fabricate precisely a 70 nm line patten using a mask with a single- trench structure. And we also found that the most suitable conditions for the dual-trench structure mask were a 90 nm undercut, a 100 nm Cr film thickness, and a 180 degree(s) phase shift. The exposure latitude at a depth of focus (DOF) of 0.3 micrometers , simulated using the optimized mask, was 5.3% for the 70/70 nm pattern, 3.6% for 70/140 nm 16.0% for 70/210 nm, and 29.3% for 70/350 nm. As the pitch widened, the exposure latitude increased for the 70 nm line patterns. Using the optimized dual-trench mask for 157 nm lithography, it will be able to keep the EL more than 3% at DOF of 0.3 micrometers for a 70 nm line pattern.