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We present a concept for a core-shell silicon nanowire thin-film solar cell showing strong light trapping. Nanowires are wet chemically etched into a several micrometer-thick laser-crystallized silicon thin film on glass. The nanowires are equipped with an a-Si heteroemitter deposited as a shell around the nanowires by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition to achieve a radial p-n heterojunction. The space between the nanowires is filled with ZnO:Al, acting as a transparent contact. Our core-shell nanowire solar cells reached an efficiency of 8.8%. The main emphasis of this study is on the optical properties of the nanowire solar cell system.