Remote Plasma-enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (RPCVD), which involves nonthermal, remote plasma excitation of precursors, has been demonstrated to be a novel and attractive technique for low temperature (150-450C) Si and Sil-xGex epitaxy for applications in Si ULSI and novel Si heterostructure devices which require compact doping profiles and/or heterointerfaces. An in situ low temperature remote hydrogen plasma clean in the Ultra-High Vacuum (UHV) deposition chamber in order to achieve a chemically passive, hydrogenated Si surface with minimal O, C and N contamination, is a critical component of the process. The ex situ wet chemical cleaning consists of ultrasonic degreasing and a modified RCA clean, followed by a final dilute HF dip. The in situ clean is achieved by remote plasma excited H, where H introduced through the plasma column is r-f excited such that the plasma glow does not engulf the wafer. In situ AES analysis shows that the remote H plasma clean results in very substantial reduction of the C, O and N contamination on the Si surface. We believe that the H plasma produces atomic H which, in turn, produces a reducing environment and has a slight etching effect on Si and SiO2 by converting them to volatile byproducts. TEM analysis of the wafers subjected to this clean indicate that defect-free surfaces with dislocation loop densities below TEM detection limits of 105 /cm2 are achievable. Corroborating evidence of achieving an atomically clean, smooth Si surface by remote H plasma clean as obtained from in situ RHEED analysis will also be presented. After in situ H cleaning at low pressures (45 mTorr), typically for 30 min. at a substrate temperature of 310 C, we observe both stronger integral order streaks compared to the as-loaded sample and the appearance of less intense half-order lines indicative of a (2 × 1) reconstruction pattern, indicating a monohydride termination. A (3 × 1) reconstruction pattern is observed upon H plasma clean at lower temperatures (250 C), which can be attributed to an alternating monohydride and dihydride termination. Results of air exposure of hydrogenated Si surfaces by AES analysis indicate that the (3 × l) termination is chemically more inert towards readsorption of C and 0. Successful Si homoepitaxy and Si/Sil-xGex heteroepitaxy under a variety of surface cleaning conditions prove that by a combination of these cleaning techniques, and by exploiting the inertness of the H-passivated Si surface, very low defect density films with 0 and C levels as low as 1X1018 cm−3 and 5×1017 cm−3, respectively, can be achieved.