Chromium aluminum oxide was chosen as a new candidate for use as an attenuated phase-shifting mask (Att-PSM) material. The compositions of films were correlated with optical properties. With the measured and the fitted data, we simulated the transmittance and the phase shift using the matrix method. Consequently, we acquired optimum parameters for Att-PSM's, such as Al/Cr = 1.9-2.5 and d = 120 nm at a 193-nm wavelength, Al/Cr = 1.0-1.7 and d = 128 nm at a 248-nm wavelength, and Al/Cr = 0-0.1 and d =170 nm at a 365-nm wavelength. This simulation was verified by transmittance measurement. (C) 1998 Optical. Society of America.