This paper is concerned with the development and theoretical modeling of a new class of organic nonlinear optical media, namely the polyacene quinones. The research is a collaborative effort involving research groups with expertise in the following areas: synthesis (L. L. Miller and coworkers), laser spectroscopy (P. F. Barbara and coworkers), computational chemistry (J. Almlof and coworkers) and solid state chemistry (M. C. Etter and coworkers). Polyacene quinones are large, delocalized aromatic molecules that offer extraordinarly large electronic π delocalization lengths, which is an important attribute for the the realization of large nonlinear optical effects in organic media. Several large polyacene quinones have been synthesized and the methodology has been demonstrated to be general. Considerable progress has been made in studying the electronic structure and optical transitions of small polyacene quinones, which is a prerequisite to developing a model for the nonlinear optical properties of the polyacene quinones. The first degenerate-four-wave-mixing measurements have been made on a polyacene quinone.