Here’s another example of what happens when dust lands on my sample just before the etching phase. The giant wing-like airy structure is the dust - due to the odd way nanoscale forces work, this fragile thing remains upright and intact even after the sample’s tilted and jostled. If I had to guess, I’d say this dust speck is a fragment of a single dead skin cell - it’s about the right size. Beneath the dust is a mesa-like platform, which the dust created by shielding the material underneath from my high-energy etching plasma. At the very bottom of the image, you can see a long straight structure that I created on purpose, the only thing in this image that’s supposed to be there.

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