The disorder in a-Ge:H thin films produced by the plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) technique is strongly reduced when the GeH4 gas is diluted at 1% in H2 and the radiofrequency power density is increased to 0.1 W.cm−2. This improvement is attributed to a better surface passivation by the hydrogen atoms during the growth. However, the poor transport properties indicate a still high defect density. The midgap defect absorption and the Urbach energy, obtained from the photothermal deflection spectra calibrated with optical data, both decrease as a function of the film thickness. The optical defect density is calibrated with EPR spin measurements. For a-Ge:H films thicker than 2 μm, obtained at a deposition temperature Ts ranging from 150 to 250°C, the Urbach tail parameter E° is lower than 50 meV and not sensitive to Ts ; the dangling bond density is around 4.107 cm−3, which is higher by a factor of 100 than in a-Si:H. Preliminary transport measurements indicate that the Fermi level density of states is larger than 1018 cm−3.eV−1.