The PtIr5 coating consists of a 23 nm thick platinum iridium5 layer deposited on both sides of the cantilever. The tip side coating enhances the conductivity of the tip and allows electrical contacts. The detector side coating enhances the reflectance of the laser beam by a factor of 2 and prevents light from interfering within the cantilever.
The coating process is optimized for stress compensation and wear resistance. Wear at the tip can occur if operating in contact-, friction- or force modulation mode. As the coating is almost stress-free the bending of the cantilever due to stress is less than 2 degrees.