In this work, thin layers of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) on Ni on silicon <111> substrates were etched almost completely away by oxygen RIE, leaving only the topmost portion of the roughness, generating nanodots of PMMA approximately 30-40nm or smaller in size. After sufficiently hard baking the samples to promote PMMA adhesion to the Ni and to increase the robustness of the PMMA, the nanodots were used as a mask to etch the thin Ni films, thus generating Ni nanodots on Si. The Ni nanodots were then used as a reactive ion (RIE) etch mask, thereby generating Si nanopillars. With further understanding of the mechanism of the generation of the roughness of the PMMA, or with the use of other polymeric materials suitable as wet etching masks, nanodots of varying size should be attainable. This method represents a very simple, low cost, scalable, and general technique to produce nanodots of various thin metals on various substrates.