Professor of Chemistry and Swanlund Professor of Materials Science and Engineering John A. Rogers has led researchers in developing technology which has been getting wide-ranging press attention, including a feature article in The New Yorker called "The Body Electric".
From the UI News Bureau, "A thin sheet of dyed plastic could cut the cost of solar power, particularly for applications that require solar cells to be highly efficient and flexible. U. of I. researchers are using the plastic to gather sunlight and concentrate it onto a solar cell made of gallium arsenide in an experimental setup. Doing so doubled the power output of the cells. “It’s lower cost compared to what you would have to do to get the same efficiency by completely coating the surface with active solar material,” says John Rogers, a professor of materials science and engineering and of chemistry at Illinois. The work was presented at the Materials Research Society conference in Boston this week."
The New Yorker: The Body Electric (subscription required)