The individual film thicknesses of multilayered structures processed by rapid thermal processing are of the same order as the wavelengths of the incident radiation. This induces optical interference effects which are responsible for the strong dependency of surface reflectivity, emissivity, and temperature distributions on the geometry of the layering structures, presence of patterns, and thickness of the films. A two-dimensional, finitedifference numerical model has been developed to investigate this microscale radiation phenomena and identify the critical processing parameters which affect rapid thermal processing of multilayer thin films. The uniformity of temperature distributions throughout the wafer during rapid thermal processing is directly affected by incident heater configurations, ramping conditions, wafer-edge effects, and thin-film layering structure. Results from the numerical model for various film structures are presented for chemical vapor deposition of polycrystalline silicon over oxide films on substrate. A novel technique using an edge-enhanced wafer which has a different film structure near its edge is presented as a control over the transient temperature distribution.