We Can Figure This Out.org
Virtual Lab: Atomic Force Microscope (AFM)
University of Virginia
© 2003-Present, John C. Bean
But to fully explain how the atomic force microscope works, we must go back out to the human scale.

The cantilever probe, the tripod, the base on which they are mounted, and the front cover, can all move up and down as the single "AFM head" unit shown here.

The head is lifted and then lowered when a new experimental sample is loaded. It rides on two square ball-bearing rails mounted vertically at each side of the head (shown here in gray).

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