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The Grazing Incidence of Diffraction (GID) method allows the phase composition of a fabricated material to be probed with depth from a surface of reference.
Irradiation of a sample, with an incident beam which is parallel and at a very low angle to the surface creates diffraction from the crystallites concentrated towards the surface. The depth of x-ray penetration is correlated to the incident angle toward the surface; typical depth data can range from ~20 nanometres to approximately 10 microns. In preparation, the surface of a material must be polished flat to ensure meaningful results.