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Quantitative friction measurement of nanomaterials in atomic force microscope requires accurate calibration method for lateral force. The effect of contact stiffness on lateral force calibration of atomic force microscope is discussed in detail and an improved calibration method is presented. The calibration factor derived from the original method increased with the applied normal load, which indicates that separate calibration should be required for every given applied normal load to keep the accuracy of friction measurement. We improve the original method by introducing the contact factor, which is derived from the contact stiffness between the tip and the sample, to the calculation of calibration factors. The improved method makes the calculation of calibration factors under different applied normal loads possible without repeating the calibration procedure. Comparative experiments on a silicon wafer have been done by both the two methods to validate the method in this article.