Crystal oriented photovoltaic cells with increased efficiency are disclosed herein. In an exemplary embodiment, a photovoltaic device includes a metal substrate with a crystalline orientation comprising a diffracting structure integrated into a surface of the metal substrate. The photovoltaic device includes a heteroepitaxial crystal silicon layer having the crystalline orientation of the metal substrate and a heteroepitaxially grown buffer layer having the crystalline orientation. The buffer layer is positioned adjacent to the surface of the metal substrate having the diffracting structure.
 The United States Government has rights in this invention under Contract No. DE-AC36-08GO28308 between the United States Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, managed and operated by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.