A scanning force microscope combining commercial AFM probes, printed circuit boards, and electrostatic actuation and detection is proposed and demonstrated. The electrostatic actuator is formed by the AFM probe and a fixed trace on a PCB. It is driven by a biased harmonic voltage with a frequency close to the probe’s resonant frequency. The separation distance between the probe tip and the specimen surface is managed to perform tapping mode scanning. A lock-in amplifier measures the second harmonic of the actuator current as the sense signal in an open-loop scheme. Preliminary results produced by the current’s magnitude and phase resemble the specimen’s topography.

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