Recently, nanotechnology has made striking advances in the fabrications of nano-electronic and nano-magnetic devices. Some of the new nanostructures are nanoparticles, nanodots, nanowires, nanotubes, etc. Most of these nanostructures are often fabricated on the surface and/or at the interfaces of a thin film, and the nanostructures in many cases exhibit anisotropies along the normal and the parallel directions of the surface and interfaces.
Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) technique has widely been used for the determination of structures of materials in the micrometer and nanometer ranges by measuring scattering intensities at scattered angles 2θ close to 0°. The types of structures can be determined including average particle sizes, shapes, distributions, surface to volume ratio, etc.
In order to determine anisotropic micro and nanostructures along both the normal and parallel directions in a thin film, the use of grazing incidence X-ray technique together with the small-angle scattering technique, namely grazing incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (GI-SAXS), is required.