The circular dichroism spectra of all 16 ribodinudeoside phosphates containing the bases adenine, uracil, cytosine, and guanine have been measured at room temperature and neutral pH. These results are compared with the circular dichroism spectra of the corresponding deoxy compounds. From the optical properties it is clear that the geometry of the base-stacked conformation of ribo compounds must differ substantially from that of deoxy compounds. Because of this, it is not possible to draw firm conclusions about the relative extent of stacking in most ribo and deoxy compounds. The optical rotatory dispersion of about a dozen deoxy and ribodinucleoside phosphates has been studied as a function of temperature. These results confirmed the conclusions drawn earlier from measurements at a single temperature. Several dinucleoside phosphates containing a 2′ [RIGHTWARDS ARROW] 5′ phosphodiester bond have also been examined. These compounds have a substantial degree of base stacking at room temperature. The geometry of the stacked conformation is different from that of either the normal ribo dimer or the deoxy dimer. The role of the 2′-hydroxyl group in stabilizing base stacked geometries has been examined by studies on C-2′-O-methyl-pC. This compound has optical properties almost identical to those of CpC. This suggests that the effect of the 2′ hydroxyl is felt indirectly through its perturbation of the geometry of the sugar ring rather than directly by hydrogen bonding. It is not possible at present to identify precise conformational differences among deoxy-, ribo-and 2′ [RIGHTWARDS ARROW] 5′ ribodinucleoside phosphates.