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Freestanding complex-oxide membranes


Complex oxides show a vast range of functional responses, unparalleled within the inorganic solids realm, making them promising materials for applications as varied as next-generation field-effect transistors, spintronic devices, electro-optic modulators, pyroelectric detectors, or oxygen reduction catalysts. Their stability in ambient conditions, chemical versatility, and large susceptibility to minute structural and electronic modifications make them ideal subjects of study to discover emergent phenomena and to generate novel functionalities for next-generation devices. Recent advances in the synthesis of single-crystal, freestanding complex oxide membranes provide an unprecedented opportunity to study these materials in a nearly-ideal system (e.g. free of mechanical/thermal interaction with substrates) as well as expanding the range of tools for tweaking their order parameters (i.e. (anti-)ferromagnetic, (anti-)ferroelectric, ferroelastic), and increasing the possibility of achieving novel heterointegration approaches (including interfacing dissimilar materials) by avoiding the chemical, structural, or thermal constraints in synthesis processes. Here, we review the recent developments in the fabrication and characterization of complex-oxide membranes and discuss their potential for unraveling novel physicochemical phenomena at the nanoscale and for further exploiting their functionalities in technologically relevant devices.

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