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Time-resolved reflectivity and time-resolved conductivity spectroscopies have been used to monitor phase changes as a function of pulse-energy density during the recrystallization of amorphous hydrogenated Si by an ArF excimer laser. The simultaneous application of both spectroscopies allowed clear identification of the melting threshold and time of melting. The dc conductivity of irradiated Si was measured as a function of pulse energy and number of pulses. These results, together with Raman spectroscopy, revealed that single-pulse annealing gives a conductive, but still amorphous and rather defective layer. At least two consecutive pulses are necessary for obtaining of the substantial crystalline fraction. © 1999 American Institute of Physics.