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For many applications non-periodic or uncommonly shaped phase masks are necessary to pattern structural features on the nanoscale. Highly efficient fabrication of non-periodically arranged gold nanostructure arrays using interfering laser beams is demonstrated by Marisa Mäder et al. on pp. 2208–2211. The templates are generated by diffraction mask projection laser ablation of thin metal films. The metal nanodots are bound to the substrate, thus improving their mechanical stability, chemical inertness, and technological compliance. The well ordered nanodot arrangements are fast and easy to fabricate.