© 2022In this study, the influence of excitation wavelength and input intensity on the nonlinear absorption (NA) mechanism and optical limiting behavior of the Bi12TiO20 (BTO) single crystal were reported. The energy band gap of the BTO single crystal was obtained to be 2.38 eV. Urbach energy revealed that the single crystal has a highly defective structure. Open aperture (OA) Z-scan experiments were conducted at 532 and 1064 nm excitation wavelengths at various input intensities. Obtained experimental data were analyzed with a theoretical model considering one photon, two-photon and free carrier absorption contributions to NA. The obtained results revealed that the BTO single crystal possesses NA. The NA coefficient increased with increasing input intensity at 532 nm excitation wavelength, while it decreased with increasing input intensity at 1064 nm excitation wavelength. Due to the intense localized defect states distribution at the energy of 532 nm excitation wavelength within the band gap, increasing contribution to NA came from one photon absorption (OPA), sequential two-photon absorption (TPA) and free carrier absorption (FCA) with increasing input intensity. The filling of the defect states at 1064 excitation wavelength caused a reduction in NA due to increasing saturable absorption with increasing input intensity. TPA coefficients were also found from the fitting ignoring the defect states. As expected, the values of the nonlinear absorption coefficient βeff are higher than that of the TPA coefficients for both excitation wavelengths. The optical limiting threshold of the BTO single crystal was obtained to be 6.62 mJ/cm2. The results of the present works indicated that BTO single crystal can be used as a potential optical limiter.