Ge1-ySny alloys represent a new class of photonic materials for integrated optoelectronics on Si. In this work, the electrical and optical properties of Ge1-ySny alloy films grown on Si, with concentrations in the range 0 ≤ y ≤ 0.04, are studied via a variety of methods. The first microelectronic devices from GeSn films were fabricated using newly developed CMOS-compatible protocols, and the devices were characterized with respect to their electrical properties and optical response. The detectors were found to have a detection range that extends into the near-IR, and the detection edge is found to shift to longer wavelengths with increasing Sn content, mainly due to the compositional dependence of the direct band gap E0. With only 2 % Sn, all of the telecommunication bands are covered by a single detector. Room temperature photoluminescence was observed from GeSn films with Sn content up to 4 %. The peak wavelength of the emission was found to shift to lower energies with increasing Sn content, corresponding to the decrease in the direct band gap E0 of the material. An additional peak in the spectrum was assigned to the indirect band gap. The separation between the direct and indirect peaks was found to decrease with increasing Sn concentration, as expected. Electroluminescence was also observed from Ge/Si and Ge0.98Sn0.02 photodiodes under forward bias, and the luminescence spectra were found to match well with the observed photoluminescence spectra. A theoretical expression was developed for the luminescence due to the direct band gap and fit to the data.