We report the influence of Sn doping on microstructure, surface, and optical properties of GaN thin films deposited on glass and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrate. Sn-doped GaN thin films have been deposited by thermionic vacuum arc (TVA) at low temperature. TVA is a rapid deposition technology for thin film growth. Surface and optical properties of the thin films were presented. Grain size, height distribution, roughness values were determined. Grain sizes were calculated as 20 nm and 13 nm for glass and PET substrates, respectively. Nano crystalline forms were shown by field emission scanning electron microscopy. Optical band gap values were determined by optical methods and photoluminescence measurement. The optical band gap values of Sn doped GaN on glass and PET were determined to be approximately similar to 3.40 eV and similar to 3.47 eV, respectively. As a result, TVA is a rapid and low temperature deposition technology for the Sn doped GaN deposited on glass and PET substrate.