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We present an application of an active emitting cantilever probe for scanning near-field optical microscopy and scanning force microscopy. A vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) integrated in a galliumarsenide (GaAs) cantilever serves as a light source at 980 nm emission wavelength that is below the band gap energy of the GaAs substrate material. The VCSEL of 8 μm diameter is centered with respect to the metalized GaAs tip and illuminates a small near-field aperture at its apex. Aperture fabrication is accomplished by a proper thermal metal evaporation process. Optical measurements on a Fischer projection pattern revealed an edge resolution of about 80 nm. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.