The integration of ferroic oxide thin films into advanced flexible electronics will bring multifunctionality beyond organic and metallic materials. However, it is challenging to achieve high flexibility in single-crystalline ferroic oxides that is considerable to organic or metallic materials. Here, we demonstrate the superior flexibility of freestanding single-crystalline BiFeO3 membranes, which are typical multiferroic materials with multifunctionality. They can endure cyclic 180° folding and have good recoverability, with the maximum bending strain up to 5.42% during in situ bending under scanning electron microscopy, far beyond their bulk counterparts. Such superior elasticity mainly originates from reversible rhombohedral-tetragonal phase transition, as revealed by phase-field simulations. This study suggests a general fundamental mechanism for a variety of ferroic oxides to achieve high flexibility and to work as smart materials in flexible electronics.
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