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We present here a comparative study of atomic force microscope (AFM) imaging in contact mode when either the cantilever carrying the probing tip or the sample is excited at ultrasonic frequencies. The cantilever or the sample can be excited by piezoelectric transducers attached to them. When the AFM tip is in contact with the sample surface the contact resonance curve depends on the local tip–sample contact stiffness. By measuring the contact resonance as a function of position one can image the local stiffness of the sample surface. We will report here imaging carried out on piezoelectric material and thin metal film using both the modes. The comparison shows that both give similar results.