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Over the past five years, the use of pair distribution function (PDF) methods to study local structure has become increasingly prominent in the mainstream materials chemistry literature. Because the technique is sensitive not only to the average (long-range) material structure but also to any local distortions away from the average structure, PDF measurements provide a valuable means of studying local structure in a way that is inherently consistent with traditional crystallographic refinement. In this article, we review the ways in which PDF methods are being used to determine local structure–property relationships in a range of materials of particular currency within the materials chemistry community.
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