Cantilevers of the 17 series with the low spring constant are used in contact mode AFM mostly. It is possible to adjust the scanning parameters to minimize the tip-sample force. Imaging in tapping mode gives the true topography of the soft samples.
Probes with overall conductive chemically inert 30 nm Au coating with 20 nm Cr sublayer on the tip and backside of the cantilever. Resulting tip radius is below 35 nm. The coating may cause cantilever bending within 3°.