In this study, we present a new light absorption enhancement method for p-i-n thin film silicon solar cells using pyramidal surface structures, larger than the wavelength of visible light. Calculations show a maximum possible current enhancement of 45% compared with cells on a flat substrate. We deposited amorphous silicon (a-Si) thin film solar cells directly onto periodically pyramidal-structured polycarbonate (PC) substrates, which show a significant increase (30%) in short-circuit current over reference cells deposited on flat glass substrates. The current of the cells on our pyramidal structures on PC is only slightly lower than that of cells on Asahi U-type TCO glass (Asahi Glass Co., Tokyo, Japan), but suffer from a somewhat lower open circuit voltage and fill factor. Because the used substrates have a locally flat surface area due to the fabrication process, we believe that the current enhancement in the cells on structured PC can be increased using larger or more closely spaced pyramids, which can have a smaller flat surface area. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.