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Numerical modelling of atomic force microscopy cantilever designs and experiments is presented with the aim of exploring friction mechanisms at the microscale. As a starting point for this work, comparisons between finite element (FE) models and previously reported mathematical models for stiffness calibration of cantilevers (beam and V-shaped) are presented and discrepancies highlighted. A colloid probe (comprising a plain cantilever on which a particle is adhered) model was developed, and itsdoi:10.1088/0957-4484/20/6/065702 pmid:19417396 fatcat:pvdjelmg5zdtpjjyia7c4ymjjq