A method of forming a crystalline semiconductor film on a glass substrate is described. The method relies on heating the glass substrate to a temperature at or above its strain point during a deposition or processing of the semiconductor film. Alternatively an intermediate film of a low strain point material is deposited on the glass substrate before depositing the semiconductor material. The process relaxes stresses at temperatures above the strain point. At temperatures below the strain point, the stresses can be controlled by slow cooling and by appropriate selection of the thermal expansion coefficient. Normal soda lime glasses having low strain points may be used for the glass substrate.