A novel bilayer bottom antireflective coating (BARC) structure composed of a commercial KrF lithography resist and an organic BARC film is demonstrated for ArF lithography. The diluted deep ultraviolet (248 nm) resist is high absorption at the 193 nm regime, which is suitable as bottom layer of bilayer BARC structures. While the deep ultraviolet organic BARC material is low absorption at the 193 nm regime, which is suitable as top layer of bilayer BARC structures. Such a bilayer BARC can have large thickness control tolerances over various highly reflective substrates. The measured swing effect is found significantly reduced by adding such a bilayer BARC on both aluminum and silicon crystal substrates. Reflectance can be reduced to less than 2% on other highly reflectance substrates such as copper, poly-silicon, tungsten silicide, and aluminum silicon. Such a process has several advantages: high performance, relatively inexpensive, large thickness control tolerance, low contamination, and easy film removal. © 2002 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.