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We outline a facile fabrication technique for the realization of free-standing Al x Ga 1−x As heterostructures of arbitrary aluminum content. Utilizing xenon difluoride ͑XeF 2 ͒ we rapidly and selectively remove a sacrificial germanium ͑Ge͒ underlayer in a room temperature gas-phase etching procedure. We demonstrate two possibilities for exploiting this unique process: ͑1͒ bulk micromachining of a suspended high-frequency low-dissipation micro-optomechanical resonator consisting of an epitaxialdoi:10.1063/1.3455104 fatcat:asc4vv4wrrhthlnrnxnufuvkii