A demonstration of visible and near-infrared (NIR) alternating-current electroluminescence from sputter-grown GaN thin films doped with Er is reported. The alternating-current thin-film electroluminescent (ACTFEL) devices were constructed using a standard single-insulating structure, Al/GaN:Er/aluminum–titanium–oxide/indium–tin–oxide/Corning 7059 glass. Visible emissions peaked at 550 and 665 nm as well as NIR emissions centered at 1000 and 1550 nm were observed from the fabricated ACTFEL devices operating at room temperature. The visible and NIR emissions at 550, 665, 1000, and 1550 nm were attributed to the Er3+ 4f–4f intrashell transitions from the 4S3/2, 4F9/2, 4I11/2, and 4I13/2 excited-state levels to the 4I15/2 ground state, respectively. The green 550 nm emission had a larger dI/dV and a higher threshold voltage, Vth than the NIR 1550 nm emission, which could result from the need for higher electron impact energy to impact-excite the Er ion into the higher-energy excited-states for emission of green light. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.