This contribution describes how a standing wave excited in a thin film can be used for the characterization of the properties of the film. By means of grazing incidence X-ray reflectometry one can deduce the total film thickness. On the other hand in making use of a strong resonance effect in the electric field intensity distribution inside a thin film on a bulk substrate one can learn more about the internal structure of the film. The profile of the internal standing wave is proven by diffraction experiments. The most appropriate non-destructive technique for the subsequent thin film characterization is angularly dependent X-ray fluorescence analysis. The existence of the resonance makes it a powerful tool for the detection of impurities and of ultra-thin maker layers, for which the position can be determined with very high precision (about 1% of the total film thickness). This latter aspect will be discussed here on samples which had a thin Ti marker layer at different positions in a carbon film. Due to the resonance enhancement it was still possible to perform these experiments with a standard laboratory x-ray tube and with standard laboratory tool for marker or impurity detection in thin films.