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A systematic study of the etching of multilayer polymer stacks using an inductively coupled plasma (ICP) has been performed. The optimized parameters were used to etch smooth vertical features in a three-layer polymer device, which are suitable for use as low-loss waveguide facets. Waveguide facets of sufficient optical quality to allow the direct coupling of the output from an actively aligned super luminescent diode (SLD) with a coupling efficiency of 40% have been demonstrated. The ability to fabricate optical-quality waveguide facets through a dry etching process, rather than mechanical means such as dicing, can enable the production of compact highly integrated optical devices.