The advantages and applications of chalcogenide glass (ChG) thin film photoresists for grayscale lithography are demonstrated. It is shown that the ChG films can be used to make ultrathin , high-resolution grayscale patterns, which can find their application, for example, in IR optics. Unlike polymer photoresists, the IR transparent ChG patterns can be useful as such on the surface or can be used to transfer the etched pattern into silicon or other substrates. Even if the ChG is used as an etch mask for the silicon substrate, its greater hardness can achieve a greater etch selectivity than that obtained with organic photoresists. The suitability of ChG photoresists is demonstrated with inexpensive and reliable fabrication of ultrathin Fresnel lenses that are transparent in the visible as well as in the IR region. The optical functionality of the Fresnel lenses is confirmed. Application of silver photodissolution in grayscale lithography for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) applications is also shown. A substrate to ChG/silver thickness etching ratio of is obtained for the transfer of patterns into silicon using reactive ion etching (RIE), more than a fivefold increase compared to traditional polymer photoresist.