Effects of dangling ends on duplex yield have been assessed by hybridisation of oligonucleotides to an array of oligonucleotides synthesised on the surface of a solid support. The array consists of decanucleotides and shorter sequences. One of the decanucleotides in the array was fully complementary to the decanucleotide used as solution target. Others were complementary over seven to nine bases, with overhangs of one to three bases. Duplexes involving different decanucleotides had different overhangs at the 3' and 5' ends. Some duplexes involving shorter oligonucleotides had the same regions of complementarity as these decanucleotides, but with fewer overhanging bases. This analysis allows simultaneous assessment of the effects of differing bases at both 5' and 3' ends of the oligonucleotide in duplexes formed under identical reaction conditions. The results indicate that a 5' overhang is more stabilising than a 3' overhang, which is consistent with previous results obtained with DNA overhangs. However, it is not clear whether this is due to the orientation of the overhang or to the effect of specific bases.