A continuing improvement in resist process is a necessity for high-end photomask fabrication. In advanced chemically amplified resist systems the lithographic performance is strongly influenced by diffusion of acid and acid quencher (i.e. bases). Beside the resist properties, e.g. size and volatility of the photoacid, the process conditions play important roles for the diffusion control. Understanding and managing these properties influences lithographic characteristics on the photomask such as CD uniformity, CD and pitch linearity, resolution, substrate contamination, clear-dark bias and iso-dense bias. In this paper we have investigated effects on the lithographic characteristics with respect to post exposure bake conditions, when using the chemically amplified resist FEP-171. We used commercially available mask blanks from the Hoya Mask Blank Division with NTAR7 chrome and an optimized resist thickness for the 248 nm laser tool at 3200Å. The photomasks were exposed on the optical DUV (248nm) Sigma7300 pattern generator. Additionally, we investigated the image stability between exposure and post exposure bake. Unlike in wafer fabrication, photomask writing requires several hours, making the resist susceptible to image blur and acid latent image degradation.