Thin films of the metastable and elusive ε -Fe2 O 3 have been epitaxially stabilized on SrTiO3 (111) substrates. The ε -Fe2 O3 films present a (001) orientation perpendicular to the substrate and three in-plane domains measuring a few nanometers and showing atomically sharp interfaces. We argue that this domain structure, rather than the epitaxial-strain, plays an essential role in stabilizing the ε -Fe2 O3 by minimizing the energy of (100) surfaces. The ε -Fe2 O3 films show a large in-plane coercivity ∼8 kOe which combined with the magnetoelectric character claimed for this oxide may lead to novel applications in spintronics. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.