This work reports on the electrical and optical characterization of the atmospheric pressure glow discharge regimes for different semiconductor electrodes made of GaAs, GaP and ZnSe. The discharge cell is driven by DC feeding voltages at a wide pressure range of 0.66-120 kPa in argon and air media for different interelectrode gaps. The discharge phenomena including different stages of discharges such as glow and Townsend breakdown have been examined. In addition, the infrared sensitivities of the semiconducting materials are evaluated in the micro-discharge cell and discharge light emission measurements have been performed. The qualities of the semiconducting electrode samples can be determined by seeking the homogeneity of the discharge light emission for the optoelectronic device applications. Operation of optical devices under atmospheric pressures gives certain advantages for manufacturing of the devices including the material processing and surface treatment procedures. Besides, finite element analyses of the overall experimental system have been performed for the abovementioned semiconductors. The electron densities and potential patterns have been determined on the discharge cell plane between the electrodes. The findings have proven that the electron densities along the plasma cell depend on both the semiconductor type and plasma parameters.