Xiaolin Zheng hailed as a ‘leading global thinker’

Xiaolin Zheng
Xiaolin Zheng

XIAOLIN ZHENG, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, has been named one of the world’s 100 leading global thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine.

“Xiaolin Zheng has developed what sounds like a toy but is really a groundbreaking engineering feat: the ‘solar sticker,’” the magazine’s citation reads. “It’s a small cell that allows solar power to be generated on virtually any surface. The cell is flexible, about one square centimeter, and one-tenth as thick as plastic wrap, and when attached to an adhesive it functions like a sticker. Critically, it converts the same amount of energy as its rigid, heavier counterparts, but because it bends, it can stick to anything from cell phones to helmets to skylights to clothing. And it’s cheaper to make.”

According to the magazine, Zheng was inspired in part, by her young daughter’s love for stickers.

Read the full citation on the Foreign Policy website.