Owing to the short life cycle of present-day microelectronics, conventional method of photomask fabrication should be replaced in order to improve the resultant agility and productivity of photolithography. To fulfill these requirements, we suggest a fully solution-based one-step fabrication method of a high-grade photomask, without the use of a photoresist, vacuum deposition, and etching process. The photomask is fabricated via the laser-induced instantaneous thermochemical metallization of an optically catalyzed hybrid complex synthesized in-situ from a low-cost particle-free organometallic solution. This reaction yields a masking layer whose high selectivity of less than 1 mu m, self-generated retroreflective structure, and excellent optical surface are comparable to those of masks fabricated by vacuum depositions. In addition, the complexity of the process is minimized owing to the solution deposition of all the constituent layers. A series of evaluations and the application of this method to an actual photolithography process confirm that this approach constitute a next-generation photomask fabrication method by satisfying both improved agility and productivity of microelectronics manufacturing. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.