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AFM Theory: Learn how AFM works and all about AFM modes

Due to its flexibility, the atomic force microscope has become a common tool for material characterization alongside optical and electron microscopy, achieving resolutions down to the nanometer scale and beyond. The AFM can operate in environments from ultra-high vacuum to fluids, and therefore cuts across all disciplines from physics and chemistry to biology and materials science. This article describes the operating principle and most common measurement modes of atomic force microscopy, and some of the many properties that can be measured with AFM on the nanoscale.