The nonlinear optical absorptions of two 5,5′-bis(diphenylphosphino)- 2,2′-bithiophene derivatives, Ph2(X)P(C4H 2S)2P(X)Ph2 (X = O, 1; S, 2), have been investigated by direct transmission measurement with both picosecond and nanosecond laser pulses from 420 nm to 480 nm. Saturated dichloromethane solutions of 1 and 2 exhibit strong nonlinear optical absorptions in this violet-blue spectral region with that of 2 being stronger at all wavelengths. In the picosecond regime, at 420 nm, the transmittance rapidly falls to 50% when the incident fluence is 0.22 J/cm2 for 1 and 0.11 J/cm2 for 2. Two-photon absorption appears to be the primary mechanism for this nonlinear absorption. The two-photon absorption coefficients β for 1 (2.1 cm/GW) and 2 (4.4 cm/GM) were obtained by fitting the measurement of transmittance as the function of incident beam intensity at 420 nm. These β values are comparable with some of the best results obtained for organic materials in the green, red and infrared spectral region. Both compounds also show fluorescence with an emission peak at 390 nm for 1 and 400 nm for 2. The fluorescence of 1 is considerably stronger than is that of 2. The combination of the wide band gap and strong fluorescence emission of 1 makes it a promising candidate as a host material for blue organic light emitting diodes.