The phenomenon of resist debris (RD) formation in electron beam lithography (EBL) under various conditions of proximity exposure (PE) effect is discussed. It is found that the PE correction at the preferred resist plane together with adequate beam to beam spacing can provide stable and uniformly distributed RD over the exposed pattern area. As an application of such stable and uniformly distributed RD, the fabrication of an array of closely spaced metal dots has been demonstrated. The approach provides the optimum way for achieving high resolution pattern delineation under the given EBL conditions and constraints. Copyright © 1996 Elsevier Science Ltd.