Compared to Fig. 7, one can clearly notice the differences in intensity and phase patterns of Fig. 8. In intensity images, the high-contrast region after the diffraction effect appears at the same position and has the same high-intensity distribution exactly at the opening. The phase image clearly shows the phase difference between open chromium and etched quartz during the propagation of light and how it carries the information all along the propagation distance. Proximity printing relies on different factors like contrast and definition of intensity profile to define the aspect ratio of structures and resolution at different proximity gaps. To discuss the particularities of propagation, we take a closer look at the propagation measurement of intensity and distinguish three zones along the propagation direction (-axis). The first zone is just above the mask or the so-called contact region and reaches from mask level to a proximity gap. Here, the structures have high contrast and all openings lead to intensity peaks. Printing in this region gives good results, but a small proximity gap carries the risk of touching the masks and damaging it—a known problem for contact printing. A second zone is defined between 10 and , where one can clearly observe the washing-out of the well-defined intensity profile by diffraction effects. The contrast and shape of the structures are almost lost in this region, and printing would lead to unsatisfactory results. The structure could not be resolved even for severe conditions on dose and development (small process windows). The third zone extends just after this diffraction zone and ranges from 32 to . In this zone, at some regions, the profile regains its properties, but usually with less contrast. The high-intensity lobes at the outer area are especially altered. To understand better what causes such behavior, we will evaluate all three regions more carefully with plane intensity and phase images. The theoretical explanation about different contrast effects and their positions in space is explained with the help of the Talbot effect.