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X-ray diffraction techniques using synchrotron radiation play a vital role in the understanding of structural behavior for a wide range of materials important in microelectronics. The extremely high flux of X-rays produced by synchrotron storage rings makes it possible to probe layers and interfaces in complicated stacked structures, characterize low-atomic-weight materials such as polymers, and study in situ phase transformations, to name only a few applications. In this paper, following an introduction to synchrotron radiation, we describe the capabilities of the IBM/MIT X-ray beamlines at the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). A range of techniques are introduced, and examples of their applicability to the study of microelectronics-related materials phenomena are described.
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