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A reflection interference contrast microscope and a two-beam optical trap have been combined to measure the interaction force between a colloidal particle (latex) and a solid wall (quartz plate). The particle-wall separation is measured with a nanometric resolution. The technique reveals the film drainage effect when the particle gets close to the wall and allows deducing the particle-wall equilibrium force profile, in the 0.1 to 10 pN range. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.
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