The Alemnis system can be used inside an SEM together with an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). The displacement head and integrated load cell are mounted in such a way that the sample can be indented while imaging with the SEM electron beam and then translated under an AFM head positioned close by in the SEM chamber for high resolution topographic imaging.

Example of AFM image for a nanoindentation with maximum load 10 mN on pure copper, shown in 2D (left) and 3D (right) views. True contact area defined by dotted line.

The combination of AFM and SEM imaging can be done sequentially or simultaneously, the latter offering the advantage of using the SEM to guide the AFM cantilever tip to the desired location. Both imaging techniques offer their own advantages which, when combined, give a more complete view of a sample surface.