Potential applications for ferroelectric thin films include both electronic and optoelectronic devices. In order to integrate a large number of devices on a single ceramic film or to incorporate ceramic devices with silicon-based integrated circuits, suitable film patterning techniques must be developed. In this study, the use of plasma etching for device patterning of PLT thin films has been explored using a dc hollow cathode discharge with HCl and CF4 etching gases. At room temperature, no etching of material is discernable. As the substrate temperature is increased, however, relatively rapid etching takes place. Etch rates for PLT thin films as high as 6500 Å/hour were measured. Etching occurred in both chlorinated and fluorinated plasmas, but at considerably different rates. The etch rate is enhanced by a factor of six by using a combination of HCl and CF4 in the plasma. After etching, the stoichiometry of the film, measured by energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), varied greatly with changes in substrate temperature. Although the removal rate for each element is different, all traces of lead, titanium, and lanthanum can be removed from the substrate over a wide range of plasma etching conditions.