In this paper we report a novel fabrication technique for silicon photonic waveguides with sub-micron dimensions. The technique is based upon the Local Oxidation of Silicon (LOCOS) process widely utilised in the fabrication of microelectronics components. This approach enables waveguides to be fabricated with oxide sidewalls with minimal roughness at the silicon/SiO2 interface. It is also sufficiently flexible to enable the depth of the oxidised sidewall to be varied to control the polarisation performance of the waveguides. We will present preliminary results on submicron waveguide fabrication and loss characteristics (less than 1 dB/cm), as well as effects of varying waveguide width on modal properties of the waveguides. We consider the ease of fabrication, as well as the quality of the devices produced in preliminary experimental fabrication results, and compare the approach to the more conventional requirements of high resolution photolithographically produced waveguides. We also discuss preliminary optical results, as measured by conventional means. Issues such as the origins of loss are discussed in general terms, as are the fabrication characteristics such as waveguide wall roughness and waveguide profile. We will discuss further work that will help to establish the potential of the technique for future applications.© (2008) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.