Electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) etching of GaP, GaAs, InP, and InGaAs are reported as a function of percent chlorine-containing gas for Cl2/Ar, Cl2/N2, BCl3/Ar, and BCl3/N2 plasma chemistries. GaAs and GaP etch rates were faster than InP and InGaAs, independent of plasma chemistry due to the low volatility of the InClx, etch products. GaAs and GaP etch rates increased as %Cl2 was increased for Cl2/Ar and Cl2/N2 plasmas. The GaAs and GaP etch rates were much slower in BCl3-based plasmas due to lower concentrations of reactive Cl, however enhanced etch rates were observed in BCl3/N2 at 75% BCl3. Smooth etched surfaces were obtained over a wide range of plasma chemistries.