The applicability of atomic force microscopy (AFM) to both conductive and dielectric materials is the subject of this study. A representative conductor, Cu, and two dielectrics, mica and selenite, were examined. Microstructure and single lamellar steps were resolved. Surface areas on Cu and mica generated reproducible images when scanned repeatedly. There was no evidence of damage to the probe or the sample as a result of the AFM investigations. Selenite did show evidence of change after repeated scans with an AFM lever of 12 N/m spring constant exerting a 10−6N force.