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A nonlithographic process is demonstrated for patterning Al, Cr, Cu, Ni, Ti, and W thin films, which are widely used in microelectronic and display fabrication. A projection photoablation process using 248-nm-deep ultraviolet radiation from a KrF excimer laser was used to pattern a polyimide film coated on a SiN layer deposited on glass. The photoablation-patterned polyimide film was used as a sacrificial layer in a lift-off patterning process for the metal films, which resulted in clean metal patterns with fine line-edge definition being fabricated after lift-off. This process provides a simpler and more economical patterning technique compared to conventional lithography methods, eliminating the developing and etching steps.