University aims to build 'vanishing' electronics

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SHOTLIST:

AP -- AP TELEVISION CLIENTS ONLY

Urbana, Illinois -- June 20, 2013

1. Closeup, chip dissolving on grass

2. Closeup, chip dissolving while being held

3. Medium, pile of old cellphones

4. Wide, electronic junk on table

5. SOUNDBITE: Prof. John Rogers, University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana:

6. Rogers holds dissolving chip with tweezers

7. Students looking at monitor

8. SOUNDBITE: Prof. John Rogers, University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana:

9. Closeup, chip dissolving on grass

10. Researcher looking at microscope

11. SOUNDBITE: Prof. John Rogers, University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana:

12. Person manipulating chip with razor blade

13. Closeup, chip dissolving on grass

14. Pile of electronic trash

15. Rogers holds dissolving chip with tweezers

VOICEOVER SCRIPT:

With a few squirts of water, watch as AN ELECTRONIC CHIP SIMPLY DISSOLVES.

WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT THEIR VALUABLE electronics TO DISAPPEAR?

THIS IS WHY--DISCARDED BITS OF TECH THAT MIGHT OTHERWISE CLOG UP LANDFILLS.

SOUNDBITE: JOHN ROGERS/PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS:

"You don't need your cell phone to last for 25 or 50 years. Nobody wants to keep it that long anyway.

JOHN ROGERS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN IS leading the PROJECT LOOKING AT HOW TO BUILD ELECTRONICS THAT VANISH IN WATER.

SOUNDBITE: JOHN ROGERS/PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS:

"That is one example of a broader class of electronics technology that we're referring to as transient, in the sense that it physically disappears over time in a very precisely and engineered way that in some instances can be actively triggered."

THE GOAL IS TO DESIGN TECHNOLOGY THAT WOULD LET OUTDATED EQUIPMENT self-destruct ONCE IT'S REACHED THE END OF IT'S USEFULNESS.

THE RESEARCHERS CALL THE PROGRAM, "BORN TO DIE."

SOUNDBITE: JOHN ROGERS/PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS:

"We're talking about electronics that's very specifically engineered to have excellent properties, time independent, until the programmed moment at which you don't need the device any more and then it just melts away. That's the trick."

DEVELOPERS ARE ALSO STUDYING THE TRANSIENT DEVICES' POTENTIAL FOR MEDICAL CARE AND THE MILITARY.

THE VANISHING TECH HEALTHIER FOR PEOPLE AND THE PLANET - WITH A VAST REDUCTION IN TOXIC ELECTRONIC TRASH.

MATT FRIEDMAN. ASSOCIATED PRESS.