The band structure of Ge 1-x-ySi xSn y ternary alloys, which are easier to grow than binary Ge 1-xSn x alloys, and clearly offer a wider tunability of their direct band-gap and other properties, was calculated and investigated by using the empirical pseudo-potential plane wave method with modified Falicov pseudo-potential formfunction. The virtual crystal approximation (VCA) and 2 × 2 × 2 super-cell (mixed atoms) method were adopted to model the alloy. In order to calculate all of these properties, the empirical pseudo-potential code was developed. The lattice constant of the alloy varies between 0.543 to 0.649 nm. The regions in the parameter space that corresponds to a direct or indirect band gap semiconductor are identified. The Ge 1 - x - ySi xSn y ternary alloy shows the direct band gap for appropriate composition of Si, Ge and Sn. The direct energy gap is in the range 0-1.4 eV (from the VCA calculation), and 0-0.8 eV (from the super-cell calculation), depending on the alloy composition. Therefore, this alloy is a promising material for optoelectronic applications in both visible and infrared range, such as interband lasers or, solar cells. Furthermore, strain-free heterostructures based on such alloys are designed and, using the effective-mass Hamiltonian model, the electronic structure of GeSiSn quantum wells with arbitrary composition is investigated, in order to understand their properties and the potential of their use in devices.