- We present a detailed analysis of the structural and magnetic properties of solution-grown PtCo−CdS hybrid structures in comparison to similar free-standing PtCo alloy nanoparticles. X-ray absorption spectroscopy is utilized as a sensitive probe for identifying subtle differences in the structure of the hybrid materials. We found that the growth of bimetallic tips on a CdS nanorod substrate leads to a more complex nanoparticle structure composed of a PtCo alloy core and thin CoO shell. The core−shell architecture is an unexpected consequence of the different nanoparticle growth mechanism on the nanorod tip, as compared to free growth in solution. Magnetic measurements indicate that the PtCo−CdS hybrid structures are superparamagnetic despite the presence of a CoO shell. The use of X-ray spectroscopic techniques to detect minute differences in atomic structure and bonding in complex nanosystems makes it possible to better understand and predict catalytic or magnetic properties for nanoscale bimetallic hybrid materials.