Abstract collage of overlapping, bright-colored glowing circles
Series ended

Skin-Inspired Electronic Materials and Devices

About the series


Department of Chemical Engineering,  Stanford University



Skin is the body’s largest organ and is responsible for the transduction of a vast amount of information. This conformable, stretchable and biodegradable material simultaneously collects signals from external stimuli that translate into information such as pressure, pain, and temperature.  The development of electronic materials inspired by the complexity of this organ is a tremendous, unrealized challenge. However, the advent of organic-based electronic materials may offer a solution to this longstanding problem.  Prof. Bao will describe the design of organic electronic materials to mimic skin functions. These new materials enabled unprecedented performance or functions in medical devices, energy storage, and environmental applications.


Zhenan Bao is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Stanford University, which she joined in 2004.  Prior to that she was a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories from 1995-2004 immediately after receiving her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Chicago.   She has over 400 refereed publications and over 60 US patents with a Google Scholar H-Index >110.  She pioneered a number of design concepts for organic electronic materials which have enabled flexible electronic circuits and displays.  In her recent work, she developed skin-inspired organic electronic materials, which resulted in unprecedented functionality and/or performance in medical, energy, and environmental applications.

Professor Bao has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Inventors. She is a Fellow of AAAS, ACS, MRS, and SPIE.   Among her major awards are:  the L’Oreal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science;  the ACS Applied Polymer Science Award, ACS Carl Marvel Creative Polymer Chemistry Award, and ACS Cope Scholar Award;  the AIChE Acrivos Award in Chemical Engineering Progress;  the Royal Society of Chemistry Beilby Medal and Prize;  the IUPAC Prize for Creativity in Applied Polymer Science;  and an R&D 100 Award.  Bao is a co-founder and on the Board of Directors for C3 Nano, a silicon-valley venture-funded startup commercializing flexible transparent electrodes.

This is an NSF Distinguished Lecture co-sponsored by the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences and the Directorate for Engineering.


Past events in this series