A series of polyphenylene derivative polymers with a variety of heterocyclic units along the main chain, and various pendant groups, have been synthesized and their optoelectrochemical properties examined. Polyphenylenes containing electronically isolated emitter centers have optical absorption and luminescence characteristics which are a function of the length of the conjugated unit. A water soluble electroactive rigid-rod poly (p-phenylene), specifically Poly[2,5-bis (propoxy-3-sulfonate)-1,4-phenylene-alt,4-phenylene], has been prepared. Solution cast films of this polymer exhibit optical evidence for bipolarons via both p-type and n-type electrochemical doping. Further poly (p-phenylene) (PPP) derivatives are being pursued, including PPP's bearing pendant donor molecules for charge transfer complex formation. A series of polymers containing alternating p-phenylene units with bithienylene and bifuranylene units, specifically poly[1,4-bis (2-heterocycle)-2,5-disubstituted-1,4-phenylenes], have been synthesized with both alkyl and alkoxy pendant groups. Steric interactions disrupt the ability of the redox doped polymers to attain planarity, strongly affecting the polymer's oxidation potentials and DC conductivities. The substituent length has little effect on the electronic properties of the polymer, but greatly affects the polymer's solubility and transport properties during redox switching.