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Extended X-ray absorption fine structure of bimetallic nanoparticles

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Electronic and magnetic properties strongly depend on the structure of the material, especially on the crystal symmetry and chemical environment. In nanoparticles, the break of symmetry at the surface may yield different physical properties with respect to the corresponding bulk material. A useful tool to investigate the electronic structure, magnetic behaviour and local crystallographic structure is X-ray absorption spectroscopy. In this review, recent developments in the field of extended X-ray absorption fine structure measurements and in the analysis methods for structural investigations of bimetallic nanoparticles are highlighted. The standard analysis based on Fourier transforms is compared to the relatively new field of wavelet transforms that have the potential to outperform traditional analysis, especially in bimetallic alloys. As an example, the lattice expansion and inhomogeneous alloying found in FePt nanoparticles is presented, and this is discussed below in terms of the influence of employed density functional theory calculations on the magnetic properties.
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