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.
A wear-resistant coating with thickness 20 nm is applied to the tipside of the cantilever. The coating is chemically inert and more hydrophobic than Si with natural oxide layer.