||Residual stress is unavoidable in thin films. Studies in the past mainly focused on the destructive effect of residual stress on the structural and functional properties of materials. Whether can we use stress to produce a special kind of structural unit or to improve the functional properties of given materials? In this paper, we will review our recent works in this aspect, that is, inhomogeneous stress is utilized to obtain single-crystal regular metal particles, the size and shape of which can be tuned by changing the composition of thin films, the annealing conditions, and so on. Structural characterization, intrinsic mechanism and potential applications of the self-formed regular particles are introduced in brief.