Films of Mnl.56Co0.96Ni0.48O4, 6–10 ¼m thick, were RF-magnetron sputtered onto the high temperature lift-off polyimide PiRL®; (made by Brewer Science, Inc.), and patterned into long, narrow beams using photolithography. The beams would self-delaminate, curling towards the substrate upon cooling from 300°C to room temperature after sputtering, as a result of the stress gradient in the film, caused by the deposition process. The typical radius of curvature is 8000 ¼m. Upon annealing at temperatures as low as 250°C for 10 minutes, the delaminated films continue to curl. The films curl to equilibrium radii that are functions of the annealing atmosphere and temperature. Films annealed in H2/N2 or vacuum curl more slowly than in air. TEM reveals that the first 100 nm of film is relatively porous, nanocrystalline spinel which densify instantaneously when exposed to high electron beam currents. Analysis of TEM photographs before and after annealing at 250°C indicate that the level of porosity decreases in the films by 1% which can account for the change in the curl radius. The first layers of film at the PiRL-film interface are prevented from fully densifying while on the substrate. When the film delaminates and the constraint is removed, the initial layer can densify, sintering at low temperature because the large specific surface area of the nano-crystalline microstructure provides high driving forces. The nature of the substrate-induced constraint is not fully understood. Water vapor and other light elements may be released from the polyimide if it were to continue to imidize during the deposition, and a SIMS study has been undertaken to investigate this possibility. Alternatively, the constraint may be purely mechanical, where the sintering rate is reduced as in constrained sintering of films from slurry. This effect may be important to understand when ceramic films are patterned with lift-off techniques. Empirical expressions describing the curl are developed.