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By lifting an epitaxial thin film off its growth substrate, we directly and quantitatively demonstrate how elastic strain can alter the magnetic and electrical properties of single-domain epitaxial SrRuO 3 thin films ͑1000 Å thick͒ on vicinal ͑001͒ SrTiO 3 substrates. Free-standing films were then obtained by selective chemical etching of the SrTiO 3 . X-ray diffraction analysis shows that the free-standing films are strain free, whereas the original as-grown films on SrTiO 3 substrates aredoi:10.1063/1.120603 fatcat:nclmffknjjezncv5sqhwtdmwbu