Optimizing light trapping in thin-film solar cells has been intensively investigated in recent years. Ye, Burns and Naughton (pp. 1829–1834) use simulations to show that subwavelength-dimensioned metal nanopatterns embedded in a thin film of amorphous silicon (a-Si) significantly enhance its optical absorbance, with more than 300% increase at 800 nm wavelength. Embedding such metal patterns inside a photovoltaic absorber concentrates the electromagnetic field associated with enhanced near-field scattering in the vicinity of the pattern. Configured with an insulating coating, this optical metamedium is proposed as a means to increase the efficiency of thin film solar cells. The cover figure shows cross-section views of the calculated power loss density (i.e. absorbance) in a 60 nm thick a-Si film embedded with a 20 nm thick Ag nanopattern, demonstrating the advantage of embedment over surface or back contact placement of the pattern.