This chapter describes the design of modern AFM instruments in detail. It shows both how the instruments are built, and how they work. There are descriptions of the mechanical, electronic, and software design of the instrument, as well as a section on the design of AFM probes, one of the most important components in any AFM. For the instrument user, understanding how the instrument works can greatly improve the results obtained, and this chapter has all the information an AFM user could need about how AFMs work, and more importantly, why they work that way.
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