Results are presented which are geared towards an understanding of the influence of powder formation during film growth. Plasma chemistry is correlated with the morphology, structure (inferred through infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction) electro-optical and density of states of intrinsic films deposited under continuous and power modulated operation. Results show that for modulation frequencies where no powder formation occurs and low substrate temperatures T (150 degrees C), silane decomposition gives rise to the growth of inhomogeneous films while in the high modulation frequency regime, at the same temperature, the anions and powder are trapped resulting in films with high deposition rates and low defect density.