• Skin-Like Microfluidic Systems for Capture, Storage and Chemical Analysis of Sweat
    Soft, flexible and stretchable microfluidic systems, including embodiments that integrate wireless communication electronics, can intimately and robustly bond to the surface of skin without chemical or mechanical irritation. This integration defines an access point for a small set of sweat glands such that perspiration spontaneously initiates routing of sweat through a microfluidic network and set of reservoirs. Embedded chemical reagents respond in colorimetric fashion to markers such as chloride and hydronium ions, glucose and lactate. Wireless interfaces to digital image capture hardware on a smartphone serve as a means for quantitation.
  • Thin, Battery-free, Skin-like Devices for Blood Oximetry
    Wireless power transfer and data communication strategies provide the foundations for 'epidermal' light emitting devices that are capable of clinical-quality measurements of optical properties of the skin, with ability to capture photoplesmyograms for determination blood oximetry, heart rate, heart rate variability and other characteristics related to cardiovascular health. The initmate skin interface enables levels of measurement fidelity and user comfort that cannot be achieved with traditional, wrist-mounted wearables.
  • Microscale Kirigami via Mechanical Buckling -- Electronic Pop-up Books
    Colorized scanning electron micrographs of 3D structures formed by a mechanically directed self-assembly process, in which thin materials patterned in 2D by semiconductor manufacturing techniques spontaneously rise up out of the plane to yield 3D architectures with engineering control. The resulting capabilities far exceed anything that is possible with traditional 3D printing techniques..
  • 3D Microarchitectures in Device-Grade Silicon
    Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a complex, three-dimensional structure formed by transformation of a planar, two-dimensional precursor. Controlled buckling follows from compressive forces that act at precise locations across the structure upon release of prestrain in an elastomeric substrate. This example uses microscale ribbons and plates of silicon, with potential applications in electronic circuits, battery anodes, photodetectors, and other semiconductor devices.
  • A Digital Camera With a Design Inspired by the Insect Eye
    In arthropods, evolution has created a remarkably sophisticated class of imaging system, with wide angle field of view, low aberrations, high acuity to motion and infinite depth of field. We demonstrated materials and fabrication schemes for arthropod-inspired cameras with numbers of imaging elements comparable to those found in the eyes fire ants and bark beetles The devices combine elastomeric compound optics with deformable arrays of thin silicon photodetectors, in co-integrated sheets that can be blown up like a balloon.
  • Soft, Microfluidic Assemblies of Circuits, Sensors and Radios for the Skin
    Chip-scale components contained in thin, elastomeric microfluidic structures and interconnected with 'origami' type wiring networks yield stretchable wireless systems that can gently but robustly integrate with the surface of the skin for multifunctional physiological status monitoring. The ability to use off-the-shelf integrated circuits, sensors and radios in skin-compatible, soft designs opens up many near-term opportunities in healthcare and non-healthcare related applications alike. (Image credit: F. Frankel)
  • A Physically Transient Form of Electronics
    Silk, magnesium, magnesium oxide, silicon dioxide and silicon nanomembranes provide a collection of materials for high performance integrated circuits, actuators, sensors and power supply systems that dissolve, completely and with controlled rates, in water or biofluids. Potential applications of this transient electronics technology range from resorbable medical implants, to degradable environmental monitors, to compostable consumer devices. The image illustrates a transient electronic circuit in a state of partial dissolution in a puddle of water
  • 3D Electronic Pericardium
    Ultrathin, 3D elastic membranes shaped precisely to match the epicardium serve as platforms for deformable arrays of multifunctional sensors, electronic and optoelectronic components. Such integumentary devices completely envelop the heart, in a form-fitting manner, to provide a mechanically stable biotic-/abiotic interface during normal cardiac cycles. These systems form an 'artificial pericardium' with advanced functional capabilities in sensing and stimulation, of relevance for both basic studies and clinical use.
  • Epidermal Photonics
    Systems that combine pixelated arrays of thermochromic liquid crystals and wireless electronics on thin, soft elastomers yield physical properties - modulus, elastic strain limit, thickness and thermal mass - that are matched to the epidermis, for precise thermal characterization of the skin. The results can be used to determine cardiovascular health, progressions in wound healing cascades and other parameters of relevance to human health.
  • Flexible, Adaptive Camouflage System With a Design Based on the Cephalopod Skin
    This multilayered, multifunctional system adopts a bio-inspired design, derived from study of the skins of cephalopods, i.e. squid, octopus, cuttlefish. Here, a color-changing collection of pixels (analogous to the chromatophores and leucophores in a cephalopod) in the top layer automatically configures itself to match any pattern of illumination from the surrounding environment. A distributed array of ultrathin silicon photodetectors (analogous to opsins) provides information that controls a corresponding set of actuators (analogous to muscle fibers).
  • Phase Separated Nanostructures in Printed Lines of Block Copolymers
    Superfine resolution jet printing techniques and processes of self-assembly in block copolymers can be exploited together to form well-defined nanostructures in wide-ranging, hierarchical geometries with length scales from centimeters to nanometers. Multiple polymers with different molecular weights or mixtures of molecular weights can be printed onto a single substrate, to provide access to patterns with diverse layouts and feature sizes for applications in advanced nanolithography.
  • Greek Cross Fractal Design for a Stretchable Electrophysiological Sensor and Temperature Detector
    Thin films of hard electronic materials patterned into filamentary, fractal structures and embedded in soft elastomers provide routes to compliant, skin-like devices for physiological monitoring and interventional medicine.
  • Nanoscale Thermocapillary Flow As a Route to Arrays of Semiconducting Carbon Nanotubes
    Electrical current selectively injected into metallic nanotubes in aligned arrays leads to thermocapillary flows in amorphous organic thin film coatings. The trenches that result from this process leave these tubes exposed, to allow their selective removal. The semiconducting tubes that are left behind can be integrated into high performance electronics and digital integrated circuits.
  • Mechanical Energy Harvester on the Surface of the Heart
    Wearable electronics, biomedical implants, environmental monitors and many other types of devices could benefit from approaches to power supply that do not require batteries. Means for harvesting power directly from the ambient environment or from natural processes of the body represent attractive possibilities. This image shows a thin, flexible device that can harvest and store energy from the mechanical motions of the heart, lung and/or diaphragm, at levels that meet requirements for pacemakers and other existing implantable devices.
  • Stretchable Lithium Ion Battery
    Thin, elastomeric substrates, distributed arrays of active materials, and 'spring-within-a-spring' interconnect structures yield a kind of rechargeable lithium ion battery that has the mechanics of a rubber band. Such devices could be useful for powering electronic circuits that laminate onto the skin or other surfaces of the human body.
  • Spatio-temporal mapping of brain activity during epileptic seizures
    Flexible, bio-integrated sheets of sensors and electronics provide new tools for mapping electrical activity in the brain, with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. The resulting technology is providing new insights into the neuroscience of epilepsy, in a form that also has clinical relevance for surgical procedures used to treat the most acute cases of epilepsy. The image shown here is a color representation of electrical potential measured across the surface of the brain of a feline animal model, recorded during an induced seizure.
  • A Cellular-Scale, Injectable Optoelectronics Technology
    In neuroscience, an ability to insert light sources, detectors, sensors and other components into precise locations of the deep brain could yield versatile and important capabilities. We recently reported an ultrathin, 'injectable' class of cellular-scale optoelectronics that offers such features, with examples of completely wireless and programmed complex behavioral control over freely moving animals. The ability of these ultrathin, mechanically compliant, biocompatible devices also can be used in other organ systems. The image shows a representative device, threaded through the eye of a needle.
  • Large Area Negative Index Metamaterials
    High resolution printing techniques enable the formation of large-area sheets of materials that display negative index of refraction, for advanced imaging devices, photonic components and sensors.
  • Epidermal Electronics
    Specially designed materials, geometrical forms and integration layouts enable electronic systems with physical properties matched to the epidermis, suitable as a new class of skin-integrated device for applications in physiological status monitoring, wound measurement/treatment, human/machine interfaces, covert communications and others.
  • Stretchable Silicon Integrated Circuit
    These devices use silicon nanomaterials in ultrathin layouts that place the active materials in the neutral mechanical plane, i.e. the plane where bending induced strains are zero. Bonding this type of circuit to a prestretched rubber substrate leads to 'wavy' shapes that behave mechanically much like an accordion bellows when stretched or compressed. The result is a stretchable, high performance circuit technology.
  • slide Electronic eyeball camera
    This advanced camera uses a hemispherically curved array of photodetectors, in a design inspired by the human retina. This layout enables wide angle fields of view, with uniform illumination and very low aberrations, even when very simple imaging optics are used.
  • slide Bio-integrated electronics for cardiac therapy
    This flexible, waterproof circuit can wrap the surface of the heart, to produce high resolution 'maps' of electrical behavior of the cardiac muscle, during beating. The data can help surgeons locate aberrant tissues that are responsible for certain types of arrhythmias.
  • slide Flexible Silicon Microcell Photovoltaics
    This unusual PV device consists of an interconnected collection of microbars of silicon, created by controlled etching and release from a silicon wafer followed by transfer printing onto a thin sheet of plastic. The device offers the performance of conventional, rigid silicon modules, but with the lightweight, mechanically flexible construction found in organic photovoltaics.
  • slide Electronics on Balloons: Instrumented Surgical Catheters
    This advanced cardiac surgical and diagnostic device involves high performance semiconductor components (e.g. microscale LEDs), RF ablation electrodes and multi-modal sensors, all integrated into the inflatable surface of an otherwise convetnional balloon catheter. Advanced materials, device designs and concepts in mechanics enable these systems to function at levels of inflation that corresponds of strains of nearly 200%. The device delivers high resolution EP mapping, sensing and ablation functionality to the endocardial surface, in a minimally invasive mode for treating arrythmias.
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Rogers Research Group

We seek to understand and exploit interesting characteristics of 'soft' materials, such as polymers, liquid crystals, and biological tissues as well as hybrid combinations of them with unusual classes of micro/nanomaterials, in the form of ribbons, wires, membranes, tubes or related. Our aim is to control and induce novel electronic and photonic responses in these materials; we also develop new 'soft lithographic' and biomimetic approaches for patterning them and guiding their growth. This work combines fundamental studies with forward-looking engineering efforts in a way that promotes positive feedback between the two. Our current research focuses on soft materials for conformal electronics, nanophotonic structures, microfluidic devices, and microelectromechanical systems, all lately with an emphasis on bio-inspired and bio-integrated technologies. These efforts are highly multidisciplinary, and combine expertise from nearly every traditional field of technical study.

john a rogersProfessor John A. Rogers

Professor John A. Rogers obtained BA and BS degrees in chemistry and in physics from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1989.  From MIT, he received SM degrees in physics and in chemistry in 1992 and the PhD degree in physical chemistry in 1995.  From 1995 to 1997, 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.  He currently holds a Swanlund Chair, the highest chaired position at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. He has a primary appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, with joint appointments in the Departments of Chemistry, Bioengineering, Mechanical Science and Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering.  He served as the Director of a Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center on nanomanufacturing, funded by the National Science Foundation, from 2009-2012. He is currently Director of the Seitz Materials Research Laboratory.

Rogers’ research includes fundamental and applied aspects of nano and molecular scale fabrication as well as materials and patterning techniques for unusual electronic and photonic devices, with an emphasis on bio-integrated and bio-inspired systems.  He has published more than 550 papers, and is an inventor on over 100 patents and patent applications, more than 70 of which are licensed or in active use by large companies and startups that he has co-founded.  His research has been recognized with many awards including, most recently, the IEEE EMBS Trailblazer Award (2016), the ETH Zurich Chemical Engineering Medal (2015), the A.C. Eringen Medal of the Society for Engineering Science (2014), the Smithsonian Award for American Ingenuity in the Physical Sciences (2013), the Robert Henry Thurston Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (2013), the Mid-Career Researcher Award from the Materials Research Society (2013), the Lemelson-MIT Prize (2011), a MacArthur Fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation (2009), the George Smith Award from the IEEE (2009), the National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship from the Department of Defense (2008), the Daniel Drucker Eminent Faculty Award from the University of Illinois (2007) and the Leo Hendrick Baekeland Award from the American Chemical Society (2007).  Rogers is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE; 2011), the National Academy of Sciences (NAS; 2015) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS; 2014), a Fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE; 2009), the American Physical Society (APS; 2006), the Materials Research Society (MRS; 2007), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS; 2008) and the National Academy of Inventors (NAI; 2013). He received an Honoris Causa Doctorate from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), and holds Honorary Professorships at Fudan University and Zhejiang University.

Rogers has also been named to many distinguished lectureships, including:

Naff Lecture, University of Kentucky, 2017.

Bagwell Lectureship, Purdue University, 2017.

Rockwell Lectureship, University of Houston, 2017.

Tsinghua Global Vision Lecture, Tsinghua University, 2016.

Parratt Lectureship, Cornell University, 2016.

Pritchett Lectureship, Georgia Tech, 2016.

Sectional Lecture, International Congress of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, 2016.

Malmstrom Physics Lecture Series, Hamline University, 2016.

Covestro Lectures, University of Pittsburg, 2016.

Dr R A Mashelkar Endowment Lecture, CSIR-NCL, 2015.

IEEE Distinguished Lecturer, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, 2015.

SNU-Dongjin Lectureship, Seoul National University, 2015.

Claritas Distinguished Speaker in Science, Susquehanna University, 2015.

Weissberger/Williams/Farid Lectureship, Kodak Research Labs, 2015.

Fowler Distinguished Lecture, Texas A&M University, 2015.

Inaugural Lecturer for the Institute for Materials Science, Los Alamos National Laboratory, 2015.

'Science at the Edge' Lecturer at Michigan State University, 2015.

College of Engineering Distinguished Lecturer at University Georgia, 2015.

Etter Memorial Lectureship at University of Minnesota, 2015.

Laufer Lectureship at University of Southern California, 2014.

Presidential Lectureship at Northeastern University, 2014.

College of Engineering Distinguished Speaker at University of Texas at Arlington, 2014.

Plenary Lecture, Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2014.

Kavli Foundation Innovations in Chemistry Lecture, American Chemical Society, 2014.

Xingda Lectureship at Peking University, 2013.

Adams Lectureship at Purdue University, 2013.

Presidents Distinguished Lectureship at KAUST, 2013.

Bircher Lectureship at Vanderbilt University, 2013.

Deans Distinguished Lectureship at Northwestern University, 2013.

ET Distinguished Speaker at Applied Materials, 2012.

Wulff Lectureship at M.I.T., 2012.

DB Robinson Distinguished Speaker at University of Alberta, 2012.

GT-COPE Lectureship at Georgia Institute of Technology, 2012.

Nyquist Lectureship at Yale University, 2011.

Judd Distinguished Lecturer at University of Utah, 2011.

ASU Distinguished Scholar and Lecturer at Arizona State University, 2011.

Rosenhow Lectureship at M.I.T., 2011.

Eastman Lectureship in Polymer Science, University of Akron, 2011.

Deans Distinguished Lectureship at Columbia University, 2010.

Nakamura Lectureship at University of California at Santa Barbara, 2010.

Chapman Lectureship (inaugural) at Rice University, 2009.

Zhongguancun Forum Lectureship, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2007.

Dorn Lectureship at Northwestern University, 2007.

Xerox Distinguished Lectureship at Xerox Corporation, 2006.

Robert B. Woodward Scholar and Lectureship at Harvard University, 2001.

Highlights from 2014/2015 include the first:

  • mechanically driven self-assembly of 3D micro/nanostructures in device-grade silicon
  • wireless, injectable optofluidic needles for in vivo pharmacology and optogenetics
  • epidermal piezoelectric systems for characterization of soft tissue biomechanics
  • auricle-mounted electrodes for persistent brain-computer interfaces
  • silk-based resorbable electronics for wireless infection abatement

Highlights from 2013/2014 include the first:

  • soft, microfluidic assemblies of sensors, circuits and radios for the skin
  • flexible devices for harvesting and storing electrical power from motions of the heart, lung and diaphragm
  • 3D electronic integumentary membranes for sensing, actuating across the entire epicardium
  • quadruple junction solar cells and modules with world record efficiencies
  • biodegradable batteries

Highlights from 2012/2013 include the first:

  • physically transient forms of silicon electronics
  • injectable, cellular-scale optoelectronics
  • compound apposition, 'bug-eye' cameras
  • strechable lithium ion batteries
  • scalable routes to arrays of semiconducting carbon nanotubes

Highlights from 2011/2012 include the first:

  • flexible electronics for high resolution mapping of brain function
  • 3D cavity-coupled plasmonic crystals
  • electronically 'instrumented' sutures and surgical gloves
  • wireless, implantable LEDs and sensors
  • stretchable photovoltaics

Highlights from 2010/2011 include the first:

  • 'epidermal' electronics
  • electronic 'eyeball' cameras with continuously adjustable zoom magnification
  • microcell luminescent concentrator photovoltaics
  • 'cloak-scale' negative index metamaterials
  • multi-functional electronic balloon catheters for interventional cardiology

Highlights from 2009/2010 include the first:

  • multilayer, releasable epitaxy for photovoltaics, RF electronics and imaging
  • first principles theory for aligned growth of carbon nanotube arrays
  • bio-integrated electronics for high resolution cardiac EP mapping
  • bio-resorbable devices for neural electrocorticography
  • geometrically controlled adhesion in elastomers and use in deterministic assembly

Highlights from 2008/2009 include the first:

  • printed microLED lighting systems and displays
  • silicon-on-silk electronics for bioresorbable implants
  • curvilinear electronics and paraboloid eye cameras
  • high resolution, jet printed patterns of charge
  • rubber-like silicon CMOS

Highlights from 2007/2008 include the first:

  • electronic eye cameras
  • stretchable silicon CMOS integrated circuits
  • flexible, semi-transparent solar modules based on monocrystalline silicon
  • flexible digital logic circuits based on SWNT thin films
  • chemically synthesized, 2D carbon nanomaterials

Highlights from 2006/2007 include the first:

  • observation and analysis of buckling mechanics in SWNTs
  • quasi-3D plasmonics crystals for biosensing and imaging
  • SWNT-based RF analog electronics, including the first all-nanotube transistor radios
  • methods for electrohydrodynamic jet printing with sub-micron resolution
  • routes to multilayer superstructures of aligned SWNTs

Highlights from 2005/2006 include the first:

  • stretchable form of single crystal silicon
  • GHz flexible transistors on plastic substrates
  • single-step two photon 3D nanofabrication technique
  • lithographic method with molecular scale (~1 nm) resolution
  • printing approach for 3D, heterogeneous integration
  • method for growing high density, horizontally aligned SWNTs