A speck of dust sits on a pedestal - this is a smallish piece of dust, only about 1/100 the thickness of an average human hair. The dust made its own pedestal by protecting a small area from the high-energy plasma that I was using to etch away the surface all around it. Apart from the dust (and from that rough area in the background), the surface came out reasonably smooth. I gave this sample an extra clean and zapped it with plasma again - afterwards, all these weird features were gone.

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