Fluorinated diesters were synthesized and evaluated as dissolution inhibitors (DIs) for 157 nm lithography. The results of dissolution rate measurements, exposure studies, and etching experiments on blends of fluorinated polymers containing these dissolution inhibitors are reported. It was shown that the DIs effectively slow the dissolution rate of the matrix polymer, poly(hexafluorohydroxyisopropyl styrene) (PHFHIPS). Etching studies show that they enhance the plasma etch resistance of poly(methyl methacrylate) using tetrafluoromethane plasma. Addition of the best performing dissolution inhibitor, cyclohexane-1,4-dicarboxylic acid bis-(1-cyclohexyl-2,2,2-trifluoro-1-methyl-ethyl) ester) (FCDE1) to candidate 157 nm photoresist polymers, Duvcor and poly(hexafluorohydroxyisopropyl styrene)-co-poly(t-butyl methacrylate) [pPHFHIPS-co-pt-BMA], improves the imaging behavior of these polymers. Our attempts to elucidate the mechanism of dissolution inhibition for this series of compounds will be discussed. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) studies in conjunction with dissolution rate measurements performed on a series of DI analogues suggest a mechanism based on hydrogen bonding.