We report the use of a laser Doppler vibrometer to measure the motion of an atomic force microscope contact mode cantilever during continuous line scans of a mica surface. With a sufficiently high density of measurement points the dynamics of the entire cantilever beam, from the apex to the base, can be reconstructed. We demonstrate nanosecond resolution of both rectangular and triangular cantilevers. This technique permits visualization and quantitative measurements of both the normal and lateral tip sample interactions for the first and higher order eigenmodes. The ability to derive quantitative lateral force measurements is of interest to the field of microtribology/nanotribology while the comprehensive understanding of the cantilever's dynamics also aids new cantilever designs and simulations.

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