The optical properties of a luminescent polymer, poly[1,4-phenylene-1,2-di(phenoxyphenyl) vinylene], have been investigated. Its photoluminescence yield increases unusually in the solid-state over solution, 52%-6% respectively. Investigations into the stimulated emission properties of this material were carried out but no amplified spontaneous emission was observed. To investigate the presence of excited-state absorption features, the photoinduced absorption spectrum was measured. An observed polaron absorption band, from 1.5 to 2.25 eV, overlaps the emission spectra and therefore quenches stimulated emission. This highlights the need to consider the effects of excited-state absorption on the emission when synthesizing new materials. © D 2001 American Institute of Physics.