PicoTREC™ is a powerful new chemical/biological detection technology that combines nanoscale Topographic imaging the AFM with single molecule RECognition mapping. The technique has been used to map interactions between, for example charged species, antibodies/antigens, and ligands/receptors in order to analyze the chemical composition of a variety of samples. PicoTREC combines in-situ nanometer scale, resolution imaging with the selectivity and sensitivity of single molecule, piconewton sensitivity to resolve and detect recognition events. It is label-less, so it is not dependent on fluorescence, radioactivity, or enzyme-linked detection schemes. When a ligand for a particular receptor is attached to an AFM tip, the AFM tip becomes a chemically selective sensor so that the forces required to break chemical bonds with the specific binding epitopes on target molecules can be detected and resolved. Consequently, maps of binding sites across a variety surfaces can quickly and easily be obtained.