MacArthur Fellows Program

MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of 2009

John A. Rogers

Applied Physicist

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Urbana, IL

Age: 42

Published January 26, 2009

John Rogers is a materials scientist noted for his contributions to applied physics, particularly his leadership in developing flexible electronic devices. In contrast to traditional solid-state electronics, where components are fabricated on semiconductor wafers, researchers have recently discovered that a host of organic (i.e., carbon-based) molecules can also act as semiconductors. In an early line of research, Rogers used microlithographic stamping technology to design high-density, complex circuits that could be fabricated on a flexible substrate similar to paper. He has raised the performance of such circuits substantially, to the point that they are finding their way into devices with modest speed requirements, such as commercial display technologies. Nevertheless, the capacity of known organic semiconductors to perform high-speed computations remains limited. To address this, Rogers has also devoted significant effort to developing flexible semiconducting films, based on silicon or carbon nanotubes, literally to stretch the boundaries of signal processing capacity on flexible substrates. Such devices can be placed in locations where standard silicon wafer technologies are impractical or impossible; the myriad of potential applications include photovoltaic cells, adaptive optics, electronic textiles, and implantable biomimetic circuits. Through his basic research in nanotechnology, chemical engineering, and applied physics, Rogers is building the foundation for a revolution in manufacture of industrial, consumer, and biocompatible electronics.

John Rogers received B.A. and B.S. degrees (1989) from the University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. (1995) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the Lee J. Flory-Founder Chair Professor of Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he is also affiliated with the Beckman Institute and the Materials Research Laboratory, as well as the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Science and Engineering, and Chemistry. He served previously as a technical staff member (1997-2000) and director (2000-2002) of the Condensed Matter Physics Research Department of Bell Laboratories.


High-resolution photos for download. Photos are owned by the MacArthur Foundation and licensed under a Creative Commons license: CC-BY. Credit: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Right-click on a link below to save the file to your computer.

John A. Rogers In the Media

"Wearable Technology That Feels Like Skin"  thumbnail

"Wearable Technology That Feels Like Skin"

The New York Times
John A. Rogers, 2009 MacArthur Fellow
Read More
"Illinois Professor Working on a Semiconductor You Can Wear" thumbnail

"Illinois Professor Working on a Semiconductor You Can Wear"

From Crain's Chicago Business
John Rogers, MacArthur Fellow, 2009
Read More

About the Fellows Program

The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. Learn More

Jennifer L. Eberhardt, Social Psychologist

Class of 2014

24 New MacArthur Fellows Announced

MacArthur named 24 new MacArthur Fellows for 2009. The new Fellows work across a broad spectrum of endeavors. Read More