Nanostructured silicon is considered as promising material system for nanophotonic and photovoltaic applications. One of the main challenges is the development of low-cost fabrication processes suitable for the mass production of high-quality nanopatterned devices on industrial scale. On pp. 2079–2082, Becker et al. present a bottom-up fabrication procedure for large-area (50 cm2) 2D periodic silicon nano- and microstructures relying on self-organized solid phase crystallization of silicon films that have been directionally deposited on nanoimprinted glass substrates by electron-beam evaporation. All these processing steps are compatible with high throughput requirements in industry. With lattice constants in the range from 350 nm to 2 μm these nanostructures can be tailored for low-cost advanced photonic and photovoltaic applications. Thus, in the first case photonic band structure effects at near infrared wavelengths have been identified by angular resolved reflection measurements in hexagonal 350 nm periodically patterned silicon films, while meeting the second type of application light path enhancement factors about 19 at a wavelength of 900 nm have been received on 2 μm periodic materials.