Thursday August 15, 2013
Tiny nanostructures. If you stacked a thousand of the largest one on top of each other, they would just about equal the thickness of a single sheet of paper. And then you should tell me how you managed to do it - maybe we could write a paper together.
These tiny monuments were created because of a phenomenon called micromasking. This whole area used to be a uniform surface (of laser material, actually). I blasted it with high-energy plasma, which eroded most of the surface away. Some areas were protected from the plasma by bits of dust and other particles that landed on the surface - those are the pillars you see here. A similar phenomenon forms natural landscapes, such as the hoodoo landforms of Bryce Canyon in Utah, and the rocks of Wanli district in Taiwan.