We report on fabrication and characterization of ultra-thin suspended single crystalline flat silicon membranes with thickness down to 6 nm. We have developed a method to control the strain in the membranes by adding a strain compensating frame on the silicon membrane perimeter to avoid buckling after the release. We show that by changing the properties of the frame the strain of the membrane can be tuned in controlled manner. Consequently, both the mechanical properties and the band structure can be engineered, and the resulting membranes provide a unique laboratory to study low-dimensional electronic, photonic, and phononic phenomena.

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