Abstract: Thin films of AlN:Tm are deposited on a Si(111) and Si(100) substrates and optical fiber by rf magnetron sputtering method. 200–400 nm thick films are deposited at various temperatures to observe the effect of temperature on their structure and morphology. Liquid nitrogen is used to deposit films at low temperature of –196°C. An electric heater is used to grow films at 250–700°C range. The deposited films are analyzed for their structure and thermal stability using X-ray diffraction and thermogravimetric analysis. Films deposited at liquid nitrogen temperature are amorphous and those deposited at high temperature are crystalline. Average grain size, strain and interatomic distance of the crystalline films are calculated. The grain size and inter-atomic distance increase from 36.54 to 45.12 nm and from 0.2368 to 0.25 nm respectively. Photoluminescence of the films excited by 783 nm crystal laser shows an intense infrared emission from Tm +3 at 802 nm as a result of 3 H 4 → 3 H 6 transition.