To understand the photophysics of nonlinear absorbers, we have investigated the photophysics of a series of di(2- thienyl-3,3',4,4'-butyl)polyenes. Spectroscopic measurements, including UV/Vis, fluorescence, fluorescence lifetimes, fluorescence quantum yields, triplet state lifetime, solvent effects and two-photon absorption coefficient were obtained as a function of the number of double bonds (n equals 1 - 5). Trends in the data reflected the ordering, energy gap between and mixing of 1Bu* and 1Ag* excited state configurations. We investigated the solvatochromism of a series of (alpha) ,(omega) -di(2- dithienyl 3,3',4,4'-butyl) polyenes. Absorption (n equals 1 - 5 double bonds) were collected in a series of aprotic solvents. The absorption energy dispersion effect sensitivity increased smoothly with n, reaching asymptotic behavior as n approached 5. The emission energy had less solvent sensitivity, giving evidence for a polar 1Bu* absorbing state and a nonpolar 1Ag* emitting state. We observed sensitivity of the absorbing and emitting states to solute-solvent dipole-dipole interactions, suggesting the dithienyl polyenes had a polar syn ground state conformation.