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This is an abstract for a talk to be given at the Fifth Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology. There will be a link from here to the full article when it is available on the web.Thermal motion of the cantilever is a fundamental limit for resolving processes with the atomic force microscope. Smaller cantilevers reduce this thermal noise in a given measurement bandwidth and allow low-noise and high-speed measurements. We have developed a series of atomic force microscopes for small cantilevers with optical lever detection and a focused spot size of 1.6 µm. These atomic force microscopes can operate cantilevers with lengths below 5 µm and thicknesses below 200 nm, cantilevers an order of magnitude smaller than what is currently available. We plan to apply these new microscopes to the study of proteins, Nature's nanomachines.