Ge epitaxial films on Si grown at high temperatures show a shrinkage in the direct band gap EgΓ as a result of the tensile strain accumulated during the cooling process after growth, making it a promising candidate for effective photon detection in L-band telecommunications. However, because of strain relaxation at temperatures >750 °C, only about 0.20% tensile strain can be accumulated at most. This leads to a direct band gap of 0.773 eV, corresponding to 1605 nm and is not enough to cover the whole L band (1561–1620 nm). In this letter, we report the strain enhancement in epitaxial Ge films induced by the formation of C54TiSi2 on the backside of the Si wafers. The backside C54-TiSi2 layer not only forms a good electric contact, but also increases the tensile strain of the Ge film on the front side from 0.20% to 0.24% and a further direct band gap shrinkage from 0.773 to 0.765 eV, corresponding to 1620 nm, which covers the whole L band. Since the silicidation process is compatible with Si complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor technology, this technique is promising to achieve low cost L-band photon detection completely with tensile strained Ge on Si. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.