Device-quality poly-Si films are used as the active material of poly-Si thin film transistors. Poly-Si films with high crystallinity, which have large grains and/or low intragranular defects, lead to a high device performance. The presence of O or C impurities in the deposited Si films can greatly affect the behavior of crystallization and grain growth of these films, and their resulting crystallinities. A substantial amount of O or C can be introduced in the films during deposition from residual gases in the deposition chamber. Control of base pressure during Si deposition, therefore, will be an important process parameter determining the crystallinity of these films. The effects of the base pressure on the crystallization and grain growth of deposited Si films were investigated using a high vacuum Chemical Vapor Deposition system. Lower base pressure decreases the deposition temperature for the amorphous/crystalline transition of as-deposited films. Crystallization of amorphously deposited films is also affected by base pressure. The kinetics of crystallization and crystallinities of poly-Si films after crystallization are substantially increased by reducing base pressure. Enhanced crystallization kinetics and film crystallinities can be explained by reduced inclusions of O or C impurities in Si films, thus enhancing the atomic mobility. The improved film crystallinity of poly-Si films leads to higher device performance of poly-Si TFT's.