In this study, silicon nanocrystals embedded in SiO2 matrix were formed by conventional plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) followed by high temperature annealing. The formation of silicon nanocrystals (nc-Si), their optical and micro-structural properties were studied using various experimental techniques, including Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, micro-Raman spectra, high resolution transmission electron microscopy and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Very strong red light emission from silicon nanocrystals at room temperature (RT) was observed. It was found that there is a strong correlation between the PL intensity and the substrate temperature, the oxygen content and the annealing temperature. When the substrate temperature decreases from 250degreesC to RT, the PL intensity increases by two orders of magnitude.