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We present control of force sensitivity in Q-controlled amplitude-modulation atomic force microscopy (AM-AFM) that is based on the high-Q quartz tuning-fork. It is found that the phase noise is identical to the amplitude noise divided by oscillation amplitude in AM-AFM. In particular, we observe that while Q-control does not compromise the signal-to-noise ratio, it enhances the detection sensitivity because the minimum detectable force gradient is inversely proportional to the effective quality factor for large bandwidths, which is due to reduction of frequency noise. This work demonstrates Q-control in AM-AFM is a useful technique for enhancement of the force sensitivity with increased Q or improvement of the scanning speed with decreased Q.

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Copyright (2013) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 114, Issue 5, (2013) and may be found at

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