The use of the unique polarization properties of synchrotron
radiation in the hard x-ray spectral region (Ε > 3 keV) is becoming increasingly important to many synchrotron radiation researchers. The radiation emitted from bending magnets and conventional (planar) insertion devices (IDs) is highly linearly polarized in the plane ofthe particle's orbit. Elliptically polarized x rays can also be obtained by going off axis on a bending magnet source, albeit with considerable loss of flux. The polarization properties of synchrotron radiation can be further tailored to the researcher's specific needs through the use of specialized insertion devices such as helical and crossed undulators and asymmetrical wigglers. Even with the possibility of producing a specific polarization, there is still the need to develop x-ray optical components that can manipulate the polarization for analysis and further modification of the polarization state. A survey of techniques for producing and analyzing both linear and circular polarized x rays will be presented with emphasis on those techniques that rely on single-crystal optical components.