Due to remarkable properties of the chalcogenide glasses, especially sulphide glasses, amorphous chalcogenide films should play a motivating role in the development of integrated planar optical circuits and their components. This paper describes the fabrication and properties of optical waveguides of pure and rare earth doped sulphide glass films prepared by two complementary techniques: RF magnetron sputtering and pulsed laser deposition (PLD). The deposition parameters were adjusted to obtain, from sulphide glass targets with a careful control of their purity, layers with appropriate compositional, morphological, structural characteristics and optical properties. These films have been characterized by micro-Raman spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM), X-ray diffraction technique (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with energy dispersive X-ray measurements (EDX). Their optical properties were measured thanks to m-lines prism coupling and near field methods. Rib waveguides were produced by dry etching under CF4, CHF3 and SF6 atmosphere. The photo-luminescence of rare earth doped GeGaSbS films were clearly observed in the n-IR spectral domain and the study of their decay lifetime will be presented. First tests were carried out to functionalise the films with the aim of using them as sensor.© (2007) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.