The Al-induced crystallization of amorphous (a)-Si under thermal annealing and swift heavy ion irradiation has been investigated. The c-Al (50 nm)/a-Si (150 nm) thin films have been prepared on thermally oxidized Si-substrates. A set of samples have been annealed at temperatures ranging from 100 °C to 500 °C to achieve crystallization. Another set of similar samples have been irradiated at an elevated temperature of 100 °C using 100 MeV Ni+7 ions at fluences of 1 × 1012 ions-cm−2, 5 × 1012 ions-cm−2, 1 × 1013 ions-cm−2, and 5 × 1013 ions-cm−2. The crystallization of a-Si is observed at annealing temperature of 200 °C. The crystallinity increases with increasing temperature. On the other hand, irradiation using swift heavy ion leads to crystallization of a-Si at significantly lower temperature of 100 °C. The irradiation induced crystallization is explained in terms of creation of vacancies, interstitials and mixing of Si and Al atoms at a-Si/c-metal interface due to energy deposited by swift Ni ions. © 2019 Elsevier B.V.