Photoexpansion and photobleaching effects have been observed in amorphous GeS(2) + Ga(2)O(3) (GGSO) thin films, when their surfaces were exposed to UV light. The photoinduced changes on the surface of the samples are indications that the structure has been changed as a result of photoexcitation. In this paper, micro-Raman, energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX) and backscattering electrons (BSE) microscopy were the techniques used to identify the origin of these effects. Raman spectra revealed that these phenomena are a consequence of the Ge-S bonds` breakdown and the formation of new Ge-O bonds, with an increase of the modes associated with Ge-O-Ge bonds and mixed oxysulphide tetrahedral units (S-Ge-O). The chemical composition measured by EDX and BSE microscopy images indicated that the irradiated area is oxygen rich. So, the present paper provides fundamental insights into the influence of the oxygen within the glass matrix on the considered photoinduced effects. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.