A versatile atomic force microscope (AFM), which can be installed in a scanning electron microscope (SEM), is introduced. The flexible design of the instrument enables correlated analysis for different experimental configurations, such as AFM imaging directly after nanoindentation in vacuum. In order to demonstrate the capabilities of the specially designed AFM installed inside a SEM, slip steps emanating around nanoindents in single crystalline brass were examined. This example showcases how the combination of AFM and SEM imaging can be utilized for quantitative dislocation analysis through the measurement of the slip step heights without the hindrance of oxide formation. Finally, an in situ nanoindentation technique is introduced, illustrating the use of AFM imaging during indentation experiments to examine plastic deformation occurring under the indenter tip. The mechanical indentation data are correlated to the SEM and AFM images to estimate the number of dislocations emitted to the surface.

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