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Design of 1-D submicrometer periodic gratings aimed at the enhancement of the short-circuit current density in thin-film silicon solar cells is investigated. A rigorous full-wave analysis is carried out to determine the absorption in amorphous (a-Si:H) and microcrystalline (μc-Si:H) silicon solar cells on substrates with gratings featuring different geometrical characteristics. Maximal photocurrent densities Jph are evaluated in both superstrate (p-i-n) and substrate (n-i-p) configurations, taking into account the nonconformal growth of the layers on the gratings. The Jph relative to that of corresponding flat solar cells was found to be 1.34, 1.24, 1.23, and 1.38 times higher for p-i-n a-Si:H, μc-Si:H-based structures, and n-i-p a-Si:H, μc-Si:H based structures, respectively.