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U. of I. professor recognized by Scientific American magazine

James E. Kloeppel, Physical Sciences Editor
217-244-1073; kloeppel@illinois.edu

11/17/2005

John Rogers
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University of Illinois file photo
John Rogers, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been named to the 2005 Scientific American 50, a list of people and organizations whose contributions to science and technology are recognized by Scientific American, the nation’s premier science magazine

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — John Rogers, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been named to the 2005 Scientific American 50, a list of people and organizations whose contributions to science and technology are recognized by Scientific American, the nation’s premier science magazine.

Rogers, who is also a Founder Professor of Engineering and a researcher at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, was chosen as a Chemicals and Materials Research Leader for his research on plastic electronic systems. A profile of his work will appear in the magazine’s December issue.

Understanding the intrinsic properties of organic semiconductor devices is crucial to the future of plastic electronic systems. In 2004, a research group led by Rogers and Michael E. Gershenson of Rutgers University reported a major advance in understanding how electric currents flow in these devices.

The group fabricated a plastic transistor by “stamping” electrodes on an extremely pure and defect-free crystal of rubrene. Measurements of the transistor’s properties revealed that the flow of charges in organics is slower than in silicon largely because the charges distort the flexible organic crystal lattice and then drag the distortions with them.

Plastic transistors offer different capabilities in consumer electronics than can be achieved with existing silicon technologies. Examples include inexpensive wall-to-wall displays and intelligent but disposable radio frequency identification tags. Taking the place of ordinary product bar codes, such tags could ease congestion in supermarket checkout lines and help busy homemakers maintain shopping lists.

Selected by the magazine’s Board of Editors, the Scientific American 50 honors research, business and policy leaders in an array of fields whose work has fostered science and technology advances that are helping produce a better future. Among this year’s honorees are Korean stem cell researcher Woo Suk Hwang, philanthropist Fred Kavli, and U.S. Senators Arlen Specter and Patrick Leahy.

Scientific American was founded in 1845. Editorial contributors have included more than 100 Nobel laureates, among them Albert Einstein, Neils Bohr and Francis Crick.

Editor’s note: To reach John Rogers, call 217-244-4979; e-mail: jrogers@illinois.edu.