Nanolithography by local anodic oxidation of surfaces using atomic force microscopy (AFM) has proven to be more reproducible when using dynamic, non-contact mode. Hereby, the tip/sample interaction forces are reduced dramatically compared to contact mode, and thus tip wear is greatly reduced. Anodic oxidation of Al can be used for fabricating nanomechanical systems, by using the Al oxide as a highly selective dry etching mask. In our experiments, areas as large as 2 mum x 3 mum have been oxidized repeatedly without any sign of tip-wear. Furthermore, line widths down to 10 nm have been routinely obtained, by optimization of AFM parameters, such as tip/sample distance, voltage and scan speed. Finally, AFM oxidation experiments have been performed on CMOS processed chips, demonstrating the first steps of fabricating fully functional nanomechanical devices. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.