Atomic Force Microscopy
Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a powerful technique used for investigating a wide range of properties on the nanometer scale, including sample topography and mechanics to name a few. For imaging, a sharp tip is scanned over a surface, thus illuminating the surface structure. Typically, the surface is realized by recording the deflection of a cantilever (motion), which is measured by monitoring the reflection of a laser spot off the top of the cantilever via an array of photodiodes.
The image on the right is a collection of AFM Deflection Mode Images of the Morpho peleides Butterfly Wing.