(2-Benzothiazolidene)-3-thiophene, 3-(2-benzothiazolyl) thiophene and (6-ethoxy-2-benzothiazolidene)-3-thiophene were synthesized. Influences of structure on optical and thermal properties of the above compounds were studied in detail. The experimental studies were supported by predictions based on molecular orbital calculations. The studies reveal that in a single compound, photoluminescence covering the whole visible range can be obtained by suitably substituting thiophene ring with benzothiazolyl group. The intensity of absorption of poly3-benzothiazolyl thiophene (PBTT) is high when compared to other systems and emission is in the blue region. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.