Rogers flexible electronics "covered" in Discover magazine

8/6/2013 1:48:00 PM

The cover story of the September issue of Discover magazine highlights the work of Illinois professor John A. Rogers who has spent more than 15 years developing electronics that can bend and stretch without breaking.

Rogers, a Swanlund Chair at Illinois, is known internationally for his pioneering work with transient semiconductor materials and flexible, stretchable electronics. With his large research group, he virtually “owns the brand,” applying his expertise in soft materials to devising technology solutions across such broad fields as solar power, bio-integrated electronics, sensing, thin film metrology, and fiber optics.

Describing the scope of Roger’s research, article authors Ed Yong and Valerie Ross wrote, “His devices, from surgical sutures that monitor skin temperature to biodegradable sensors that dissolve when their useful life is done, share a unifying quality: They can slip seamlessly into the soft, moist, moving conditions of the living world.”

The magazine's cover sports a striking transparent human head and torso, with a flexible electronic circuit covering the left hemisphere of the illustrated brain. The five-page feature article explains how Rogers and his fellow researchers make their flexible circuits and the nearly endless number of uses the ever-expanding technology accommodates.

After completing his PhD at MIT, Rogers was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard University Society of Fellows. During this time he also served as a founder and Director of Active Impulse Systems, a company that commercialized technologies developed during his PhD work. He joined Bell Laboratories as a Member of Technical Staff in the Condensed Matter Physics Research Department in 1997, and served as Director of this department from the end of 2000 to 2002.

In January 2003, Rogers joined the Illinois faculty. With a primary appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Rogers also holds joint appointments in the Departments of Chemistry, Bioengineering, Mechanical Science and Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering. He currently serves as director of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory and also is affiliated with the Beckman Institute at Illinois. In July 2013, he was elected to the Center for Advanced Study.

He has published more than 350 papers, and is an inventor on over 80 patents and patent applications, more than 50 of which are licensed or in active use by large companies and startups that he has co-founded.

Among his many awards and recognitions, Rogers was the recipient of the Lemelson-MIT Prize, a MacArthur Fellowship in 2012, he was named to Nature magazine’s “10 who mattered this year” for taking innovations from ideas to engineering prototypes. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Physical Society, the Materials Research Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

If you have any questions about the College of Engineering, or other story ideas, contact Rick Kubetz, writer/editor, Engineering Communications Office, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 217/244-7716.