Si(1 0 0)(2 x 1) surface is imaged using a new non-contact atomic force microscopy (nc-AFM)/STM with sub-Angstrom oscillation amplitudes using stiff tungsten levers. Simultaneous force gradient and STM images of individual dimers and atomic scale defects are obtained. We measured force-distance (f-d) curves with different tips. Some of the tips show long force interactions, whereas some others resolve short-range interatomic force interactions. We observed that the tips showing short-range force interaction give atomic resolution in force gradient scans. This result suggests that short-range force interactions are responsible for atomic resolution in nc-AFM. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.