A technique for forming films of material (14) from a donor substrate (10). The technique has a step of introducing gas-forming particles (12) through a surface of a donor substrate (10) to a selected depth underneath the surface. The gas-forming particles form a layer of microbubbles within the substrate. A global heat treatment of the substrate then creates a pressure effect to separate a thin film of material from the substrate. Additional gas-forming particles are introduced into the donor substrate and a second thin film of material is then separated from the donor substrate. In a specific embodiment, the gas-forming particles are implanted using a plasma immersion ion implantation method.