In our contribution we present a technique for characterizing the piezo-driven sensor head of a scanning probe
microscope (SPM) using a laser vibrometer. The experimental setup, the signal processing and some experimental
results are described. Furthermore a mechanical model for the sensor head is proposed and verified by the
experimental results. Finally a guidance for an online or offline correction of the position of the sensor head is
This paper discusses some experimental results obtained by a force sensor utilizing the elasto-optical effect within a Nd:YAG crystal. The optical set-up, the force application system and the signal pick-up with a very high speed InGaAs photodetector is detailed. Some calibration results for forces in the mN up to N range are given.