We have studied the effect of the film thickness on the electronic structure of pure nickel and iron thin films. Series of the thin films were evaporated by e-beam evaporation on SiN substrates. The electronic structure of the thin films was investigated using X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy. We have showed the thickness dependent variation of the experimental branching ratio (BR) and full-width at half-maximum (FWHM) at the L-3 and L-2 edges for both thin films. A strong thickness dependence of the L-2,L-3 BR and FWHM was found. We have also focused on the deviation of L-3 to L-2 ratio from its statistical value. The average L-3/L-2 white-line intensity ratio was calculated to be 3.4 and 3.0 from peak height and integrated area under each L-3 and L-2 peaks, respectively for iron. Additionally, a theoretical L-2,L-3 edge calculation for nickel was presented. The obtained results were consistent with the general view of the L-2,L-3 BR and FWHM of iron and nickel transition metals. (c) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.