We recently realised that Near-edge X-ray absorption fine-structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy at the C K-edge can distinguish between different saccharides because minute variations in average C-O bond lengths manifest as detectable shifts of the shape resonances associated with these bonds. This opens up the possibility for novel analytical approaches, for example to identify different types of sugars in drug formulations or foods:
NEXAFS Sensitivity to Bond Lengths in Complex Molecular Materials: A Study of Crystalline Saccharides
A. Gainar, J. S. Stevens, C. Jaye, D. A. Fischer & S. L. M. Schroeder
Journal of Physical Chemistry B 119 (2015), in press.