Oligomers based on an o-phenylene ethynylene (oPE) backbone with polar substituents have been synthesized using Sonogashira methods. Folding of these extremely short oligomers was confirmed via 1D and 2D (NOESY) NMR methods. Utilizing electron-rich and electron-poor phenylene building blocks, variations of these oPE oligomers have been synthesized to determine the folded stability of p-rich vs p-poor vs p-rich-p-poor systems. Slight variations in temperature offer a route, aside from solvent denaturation, to probe the stability of the folded structure. This is the first report of an NMR solution characterization of folding for a PE backbone without hydrogen bonds.