Diphasic silicon films (nc-Si/a-Si:H) have been prepared by a new regime of plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition in the region adjacent of phase transition from amorphous to microcrystalline state. Comparing to the conventional amorphous silicon (a-Si:H), the nc-Si/a-Si:H has higher photoconductivity (sigma(ph)), better stability, and a broader light spectral response range in the longer wavelength range. It can be found from Raman spectra that there is a notable improvement in the medium range order. The blue shift for the stretching mode and red shift for the wagging mode in the IR spectra also show the variation of the microstructure. By using this kind of film as intrinsic layer, a p-i-n junction solar cell was prepared with the initial efficiency of 8.51 % and a stabilized efficiency of 8.01% (AM 1.5, 100 mw/cm(2)) at room temperature. (c) 2006 Published by Elsevier B.V.