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Small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering are important techniques for studying the structure of fractals and other disordered systems on a scale of lengths from about 10 to 2000 Å. This review begins with a brief outline of some properties of fractals. The small-angle scattering from fractal systems is then discussed and the effect of polydispersity is considered. The intensity of small-angle scattering from fractals and other disordered systems is often proportional to a negative power of the quantity q = 4πλ−1sin(θ/2), where θ is the scattering angle and λ is the X-ray or neutron wavelength. From the magnitude of the exponent that describes this type of scattering, which is often called power-law scattering, much important information can be obtained. Some situations in which power-law scattering can be expected are described. To illustrate the scattering from fractals and disordered systems, several experimental investigations of mass-fractal silicas and porous solids are reviewed and some calculations of the small-angle scattering from model fractal systems are outlined.
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