An in-depth study of the structural and electrical properties of silicon (Si) films deposited by a novel low temperature technique at temperatures less than 400°C in a 13.56 MHz RF PECVD reactor is reported. The method is based on substrates having to undergo some initial preparatory steps (IPS) before the deposition of Si films in the PECVD chamber. The optical band gap of Si films deposited using this novel technique narrowed to 1.25 eV from 1.78 eV using the traditional a-Si:H deposition recipe. No annealing of any form was performed on the films to attain this band gap. Furthermore, photosensitivities for these films under various deposition conditions were of order 100 compared to 104 for a-Si:H films deposited under like conditions. Using metal-insulator-semiconductor devices, the Si films grown by this novel technique exhibit charge storage and memory behaviour unlike their amorphous counterparts. However, device endurance has been found to be inadequate, probably due to the presence of some contaminants - notably interstitial oxygen - which has been found elsewhere to have adverse effects on the electrical characteristics of Si films. If well harnessed, we suggest Si structures grown by this novel growth technique could be well-suited for flash memory applications, particularly 3-D flash which requires process temperatures to be less than 400 °C.