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We successfully developed an atomic force microscope (AFM) with a batch‐fabricated silicon cantilever with a pyramidal stylus. The high quality lead zirconate titanate (PZT) piezoelectric thin film allows simultaneously displacement sensing and actuating. The PZT thin film with a dielectric constant of 1000, a remanent polarization of 30 μC/cm2, and a piezoelectric constant of -100 pC/N, which are as high as those of bulk ceramics PZT, has been formed by sputtering at 400 °C and subsequent annealing at 650 °C. A Si(111) mono‐atomic step whose height is 4 Å has been observed clearly in an AFM cyclic contact mode by a PZT‐AFM lever as a displacement sensor. A PZT‐AFM lever has been used as an actuator for z feedback positioning for AFM imaging of a compact disk pit. © 1996 American Institute of Physics.