Ordered arrays of Ta 2 O 5 nanodots were prepared using anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) as a template to support localized oxidation of TaN. Films of TaN (50 nm) and Al (1.5 μm) were deposited successively on p-type Si wafers and followed by a two-step anodization process at 40 V using oxalic acid as the electrolyte. The first anodization promoted growth of irregular AAO from overlying Al film. After chemical etching, the second anodization was performed to develop well-organized AAO channels and initiate oxidation of underlying TaN film to form tantalum oxide nanodots at the AAO pore bottoms. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy results confirmed the chemical nature of nanodots as stoichmetric Ta 2 O 5 . X-ray diffraction demonstrated the amorphous characteristic of Ta 2 O 5 . As shown in field-emission scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron results, the Ta 2 O 5 nanodots exhibited a hillock structure 80 nm in diameter at the bottom and 50 nm in height. We also synthesized 30-nm nanodots by adjusting AAO formation electrochemistry. This demonstrates the general applicability of the AAO template method for nanodot synthesis from nitride to oxide at a desirable size.