A new design of a noncontact atomic force microscope (AFM) is introduced in this paper, based on a piezoelectric oscillator sensor (PEOS) for ambient and liquid environments. Because of the recent development of quartz technology, the PEOS sensor operates independently from conventional laser alignments. The sensor is based on the length extension resonator, which has high force sensitivity and can deliver high resolution AFM images in ultrahigh vacuum. The oscillator design was tested in different gas compositions and liquids to determine its oscillation stability. The scan performance was investigated in both air and liquid on the topography of an inorganic hard material, graphite. The usability of PEOS for soft organic materials was further proven by imaging biological samples of DNA origami.

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