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The advantages of using monochromatic and parallel synchrotron x rays for the microstructure analysis of polycrystalline materials have been studied. Analysis of line broadening from Pd powers showed encouraging results. Warren–Averbach analysis [J. Appl. Phys. 21, 595 (1950)] with respect to the three major crystal axes , , and  was done using 1‐Å x rays. Crystallite sizes and microstrains relative to the  direction were obtained using three different reflection pairs (111)‐(222), (111)‐(333), and (111)‐(444). The fixed symmetrical instrument profile shape has major advantages in the correction of instrumental broadening and the determination of a low level (10-4 range) of stacking‐fault probabilities.