Crystallization in a thin, initially amorphous layer is considered. The layer is in thermal contact with a substrate of very large dimensions. The energy equation of the layer contains source and sink terms. The source term is due to liberation of latent heat in the crystallization process, while the sink term is due to conduction of heat into the substrate. To determine the latter, the heat diffusion equation for the substrate is solved by applying Duhamels integral. Thus, the energy equation of the layer becomes a heat diffusion equation with a time integral as an additional term. The latter term indicates that the heat loss due to the substrate depends on the history of the process. To complete the set of equations, the crystallization process is described by a rate equation for the degree of crystallization. The governing equations are then transformed to a moving co-ordinate system in order to analyze crystallization waves that propagate with invariant properties. Dual solutions are found by an asymptotic expansion for large activation energies of molecular diffusion. By introducing suitable variables, the results can be presented in a universal form that comprises the influence of all non-dimensional parameters that govern the process. Of particular interest for applications is the prediction of a critical heat loss parameter for the existence of crystallization waves with invariant properties.