Three polymer systems, polycarbonates, polysulfonyl esters, and hybrid carbonate-sulfones, were evaluated as materials for a new generation of bottom anti-reflective coatings (BARCs). The polymers were tested for their solubility in accepted industry solvents, resistance to photoresist solvents after casting, thermal stability, and photosensitivity. From these, polysulfonyl esters show more promising properties as photodefinable BARCs than the other systems because of their good solvent solubility and resistance to photoresist solvents after casting. These polymers can be formulated in ethyl lactate (EL) or 1-methoxy-2-acetoxypropane (PGMEA) but are insoluble in the same solvents after curing above 170°C. The polysulfonyl esters were thermally stable up to ~300°C in air. The cured films were exposed with DUV light at 200 to 600 mJ/cm2. After exposure, the films can be easily removed in alkaline developer.