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Polycrystalline silicon thin films have been selectively deposited at a substrate temperature of 300 °C on molybdenum or silicon over silicon dioxide, silicon nitride or Corning 7059 glass substrates in a continuous hot‐wire chemical vapor deposition (HWCVD) process involving hydrogen and disilane. Excellent selectivity is achieved on features as small as 1 μm spaced molybdenum lines. The deposition rate on molybdenum is 60–100 Å/min which is higher than that obtained by a pulsed gas plasma‐enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) or a very high‐frequency PECVD (VHF‐PECVD). The selective deposition rate obtained in our system is attributed to the high concentration of atomic hydrogen generated when molecular hydrogen passes over a heated tungsten filament. © 1996 American Institute of Physics.