The study of the atomic structure of surfaces and interfaces is a fundamental step in the knowledge and the development of new materials. Among the several surface-sensitive techniques employed to characterise the atomic arrangements, grazing incidence x-ray diffraction (GIXD) is one of the most powerful. With a simple data treatment, based on the kinematical theory, and using the classical methods of x-ray bulk structure determination, it gives the atomic positions of atoms at a surface or an interface and the atomic displacements of subsurface layers for a complete determination of the structure. In this paper the main features of the technique will be briefly reviewed and selected of application to semiconductor and metal surfaces will be discussed.
Imperatori, P 
- CNR, Monterotondo Stazione, Rome (Italy). Istituto di Chimica dei materiali