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Arrays of cantilevers with integrated self-sharpening tips and self-exciting piezoelectric sensors have been fabricated using monocrystalline silicon micromachining. During the fabrication process, tips are first formed with a wet etching technique allowing a good homogeneity of tip shape over a whole wafer and then protected with a local thick silicon dioxide layer. Single cantilevers have been used to achieve atomic force microscopy images of grids with periods of 0.25, 1, and 5 μm and with height differences of 100, 15, and 180 nm, respectively. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.