The potential of photoelectron diffraction—exploiting the coherent interference of directly-emitted and elastically scattered components of the photoelectron wavefield emitted from a core level of a surface atom to obtain structural information—was first appreciated in the 1970s. The first demonstrations of the effect were published towards the end of that decade, but the method has now entered the mainstream armoury of surface structure determination. This short review has two objectives: First, to outline the way that the idea emerged and the way this evolved in my own collaboration with Neville Smith and his colleagues at Bell Labs in the early years: Second, to provide some insight into the current state-of-the art in application of (scanned-energy mode) photoelectron diffraction to address two key issue in quantitative surface structure determination, namely, complexity and precision. In this regard a particularly powerful aspect of photoelectron diffraction is its elemental and chemical-state specificity
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