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Synchrotron-based spectroscopic techniques have contributed significantly to a better understanding of the properties of materials on the macroscopic and microscopic scale over the last decades. They can be applied to samples from a diversity of fields, including Biology, Life Sciences, Chemistry and Materials. One of these techniques is Near Edge X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy, revealing electronic structure and information on the orientation of adsorbed molecules. The present article describes the basics of the technique and the progress it has made over the last three decades, and summarizes some of its more recent developments and applications. This tutorial review article should be accessible for novices to the field from Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Materials, and the Life Sciences, interested in thin organic films and liquid systems.
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