We study the optical and structural properties of rib-loaded waveguides working in the 600-900 nm spectral range. A Si nanocrystal-rich SiOx with Si excess nominally ranging from 10 to 20% forms the active region of the waveguide. Starting materials were fused silica wafers and 2 μm-thick SiO2 thermally grown onto Si substrate. Si nanocrystals were precipitated by annealing at 1100°C after quadruple Si ion implantation to high doses in a flat profile. The complete phase separation and formation of Si nanocrystals were monitored by means of optical tools, such as Raman, optical absorption and photoluminescence. Grain size distribution was obtained by electron microscopy. The actual Si excess content was obtained by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The rib-loaded structure of the waveguide was fabricated by photolitographic and reactive ion etching processes, with patterned rib widths ranging from 1 to 8 μm. M-lines spectroscopy measurements provided a direct measurement of the refractive index and thickness of the active layers versus Si excess. When coupling a probe signal at 780 nm or 633 nm into the waveguide, an attenuation of at least 11 dB/cm was observed. These propagation losses have been attributed to Mie scattering, waveguide irregularities and direct absorption by the silicon nanocrystals.