Metallic filaments with submicrometer diametere have been fabricated. Standard diffraction techniques with conventional x-ray sources were unsuccessful in identifying the structure of these materials. However, with the use of synchrotron radiation produced on a wiggler beam line, diffraction data were obtained in measurement periods as short as 10 milliseconds. Two cylindrical single crystals of bismuth were studied, each with a diameter of 0.22 +/- 0.02 micrometer. The volume of sample illuminated for these measurements was 0.38 cubic micrometer, less than 0.5 femtoliter. The crystals are grown in glass capillaries, and, because bismuth expands on solidification, they are under a residual hoop stress. The crystallographic data indicate the presence of a linear compressive strain of about 2 percent, which is assumed to be the result of a residual stress of about 2 gigapascals.