Cycloalkanes are candidates for immersion fluids because of their potential for low absorption in the 193-nm region and for a high refractive index (RI). We have developed an empirical correlation between refractive index and density of alkanes, which allows a prediction of the best candidates for immersion fluids based on the alkane structure. In particular, the correlation reveals that polycycloalkanes such as perhydrophenanthrene (PHPh) and perhydrodropyrene (PHPy), which have a higher RI than linear or cyclic alkanes, will be excellent candidates for immersion fluids at 193 nm. Therefore, PHPh and PHPy were synthesized by exhaustive hydrogenation of phenanthrene and pyrene. However, methods for the purification of the synthesized and commercial alkanes such as cyclodecane (CYD), cyclohexane (CYX), pentane (PNT), and decalin (DEC) are required in order to determine the actual absorption of candidates at 193 nm. The presence of an absorbing impurity at 193 nm can cause the premature elimination of otherwise excellent potential candidates. A rather subtle impurity is molecular oxygen, which does not itself absorb at 193 nm, but which forms complexes with alkanes that do absorb at 193 nm. In this case, the "impurity" is readily eliminated by simple purging with nitrogen or argon gas.