Grazing incidence diffraction
Grazing incidence X-ray and neutron diffraction (GID, GIXD, GIND), typically from a crystalline structure uses small incident angles for the incoming X-ray or neutron beam, so that diffraction can be made surface sensitive. It is used to study surfaces and layers because wave penetration is limited. Distances are in the order of nanometres. Below (typically 80%) the critical angle of the surface material studied an evanescent wave is established for a short distance and is exponentially damped. Therefore Bragg reflections are only coming from the surface structure.
An advantage of GIXD is that the electric field at the critical angle is amplified locally by a factor of four, making the signal stronger. A disadvantage is the limited in-plane spatial resolution (beam footprint).
When employed under very small scattering angles, the technique is called grazing-incidence small-angle scattering (GISAS, GISAXS, GISANS), and requires special methodology.
Jens Als-Nielsen, Elements of Modern X-ray Physics ISBN 0-471-49857-2
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