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Surface X-Ray Diffraction

X-Ray Techniques

  1. Roberto Felici

Published Online: 12 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/0471266965.com079.pub2

Characterization of Materials

Characterization of Materials

How to Cite

Felici, R. 2012. Surface X-Ray Diffraction. Characterization of Materials. 1–20.

Author Information

  1. European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Grenoble, France

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 12 OCT 2012


Surface x-ray diffraction is a technique sensitive to the atomic structure and morphology of surfaces and interfaces. As x-ray diffraction is used for the determination of three-dimensional crystal structures and, in doing this, also crystallographic parameters such as Debye–Waller factors (thermal vibration amplitudes) or occupancy factors are also accessed, so surface x-ray diffraction should be considered as a valid method for measuring these quantities too. Surface x-ray diffraction also probes surface morphological properties, such as roughness and facet formation, and allows for the investigation of their thermodynamic and kinetic aspects, such as the study of phase transitions in surfaces, or of growth phenomena, or of catalytic reactions.


  • surface x-ray diffraction;
  • grazing incidence;
  • diffractometer;
  • crystallographic measurements