An atomic force microscope (AFM) is used as a nanometer-scale resolution tool for the characterization of the electromechanical behaviour of a resonant cantilever-based mass sensor. The cantilever is actuated electrostatically by applying DC and AC voltages from a driver electrode placed closely parallel to the cantilever. In order to minimize the interaction between AFM probe and the resonating transducer cantilever, the AFM is operated in a dynamic noncontact mode, using oscillation amplitudes corresponding to a low force regime. The dependence of the static cantilever deflection on DC voltage and of the oscillation amplitude on the frequency of the AC voltage is measured by this technique and the results are fitted by a simple non-linear electromechanical model. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.