We present a single pump-down process to texture hydrogenated amorphous silicon solar cells. Mats of p-type crystalline silicon nanowires were grown to lengths of 1 µm on glass covered with flat ZnO using a plasma-assisted Sn-catalyzed vapor-liquid-solid process. The nanowires were covered with conformal layers of intrinsic and n-type hydrogenated amorphous silicon and a sputtered layer of indium tin oxide. Each cell connects in excess of 107 radial junctions over areas of 0.126 cm². Devices reach open-circuit voltages of 0.8 V and short-circuit current densities of 12.4 mA cm−2, matching those of hydrogenated amorphous silicon cells deposited on textured substrates. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.