Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is used in a wide range
of applications for imaging sub-nanometer resolution
topography, as well as for analysis of physical
characteristics (such as surface stiffness and
electromagnetic properties). While surface imaging
and characterization on the nanoscale is of great
value and is widely used across all fields of
science, correlation with other types of microscopy
can greatly enhance the value of those measurements.
Here, we discuss a new approach that uses a small,
ultra-thin AFM, which allows it to be integrated
with standard light microscopes. The authors believe
the design will allow for a new paradigm in
microscopy, by enabling all the advantages of AFM to
be combined with the advanced imaging capabilities
of research-grade light microscopes.