Optical properties of poly(phenylene pyridine) derivatives, poly(2,5-dialkoxy-1,4phenylenealt-2,5-pyridine) (PHOnPY25), such as optical absorption, photoluminescence (PL), and electroluminescence (EL), have been studied. The electronic energy structures of PHOnPY25 have been determined by optical and electrochemical measurements. Strong PL with high quantum efficiency has been clarified in the films, and spectral narrowing has been observed by pulse excitation of a nitrogen laser. Intense blue EL has also been demonstrated. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.