The structure of re-crystallized silicon films is investigated using transmission electron microscopy, spectroscopic ellipsometry and positron annihilation spectroscopy. Samples were prepared via amorphization of the silicon overlayer of silicon-on-insulator substrates, and subsequent thermal annealing. For an annealing temperature of 650 °C we show that the silicon film has a poly-crystalline structure. Its refractive index measured at 1550 nm is comparable to that of crystalline silicon following re-crystallization at 750 °C. Positron measurements indicate a high concentration of open-volume point defects in the re-crystallized films. We discuss the potential importance of these structures with regard to defect engineering for silicon photonic devices.