We crystallize amorphous silicon (a-Si) layers (thicknesses: ∼300nm and ∼1300nm for comparison) that are deposited on glass substrates (Corning 7059) by low pressure chemical vapor deposition using a continuous wave Ar+-laser. We scan the raw beam with a diameter of ∼60νm in single traces and traces with varying overlap (30-60%). With optimized process parameters (fluence, scan velocity, overlap) we achieve polycrystalline Si with grains as wide as 100νm. The grain boundary population is dominated by first and second order twin boundaries as analyzed by electron backscattering analysis in the scanning electron microscope and convergent beam electron diffraction in the transmission electron microscope. These twins are known not (or only marginally) to degrade the electrical properties of the material. In addition to twins, dislocations and twin lamellae occur at varying densities (depending on grain orientation and process parameters). The recombination activity of the defects is analyzed by EBIC and according to these measurements crystallization receipts are defined that yield the reduction of electrically detrimental defects.