The atomic force microscope (AFM) allows investigation of the properties of surfaces and interfaces at atomic scale resolution. However, several different operational modes, (imaging, force versus distance and lateral force modes), need to be deployed in order to gain insight into the structure, tribological and mechanical properties. A new method, based on a variation of the force versus distance mode, has been developed. In essence, a coupling of the deformational modes of the probe is exploited whereby the tip is induced to undergo lateral travel in response to application of an out-of-plane force (and thus normal bending of the force-sensing lever). The lateral travel induces in-plane forces that are then measurable as a consequence of stimulation of the 'buckling' deformational mode of the lever. Due to the lever geometry, the technique offers an increase in resolution of an order of magnitude over existing AFM methods for measurement of atomic scale stick-slip events. In addition, the method allows measurement of the lateral deformation of the sample as well as scanner calibration. Outcomes will be demonstrated for atomically flat surfaces such as WTe2 and highly oriented pyrolytic graphite.