A systematic study of the preparation of porphyrins with extended conjugation by meso,β-fusion with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is reported. The meso-positions of 5,15-unsubstituted porphyrins were readily functionalized with PAHs. Ring fusion using standard Scholl reaction conditions (FeCl 3, dichloromethane) occurs for perylene-substituted porphyrins to give a porphyrin β,meso annulated with perylene rings (0.7:1 ratio of syn and anti isomers). The naphthalene, pyrene, and coronene derivatives do not react under Scholl conditions but are fused using thermal cyclodehydrogenation at high temperatures, giving mixtures of syn and anti isomers of the meso,β-fused porphyrins. For pyrenyl-substituted porphyrins, a thermal method gives synthetically acceptable yields (>30%). Absorption spectra of the fused porphyrins undergo a progressive bathochromic shift in a series of naphthyl (λ max = 730 nm), coronenyl (λ max = 780 nm), pyrenyl (λ max = 815 nm), and perylenyl (λ max = 900 nm) annulated porphyrins. Despite being conjugated with unsubstituted fused PAHs, the β,meso-fused porphyrins are more soluble and processable than the parent nonfused precursors. Pyrenyl-fused porphyrins exhibit strong fluorescence in the near-infrared (NIR) spectral region, with a progressive improvement in luminescent efficiency (up to 13% with λ max = 829 nm) with increasing degree of fusion. Fused pyrenyl-porphyrins have been used as broadband absorption donor materials in photovoltaic cells, leading to devices that show comparatively high photovoltaic efficiencies. © 2011 American Chemical Society.