John F. Rabolt received his B.S. in Physics from the State University of New York in 1970. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in Molecular Physics from Southern Illinois University in 1974. He has been at the University of Delaware since 1996, where he is currently the Karl W. and Renate Böer Professor of Materials Science and Engineering.
Earlier in his career, he was a research staff member at the IBM Almaden Research Center. There, he was co-director of the NSF Center on Polymer Interfaces and Macromolecular Assemblies. Rabolt developed several laser-based analytical instruments and has been awarded three patents for optical-based microelectronic devices. He has authored or co-authored 175 research articles in peer-reviewed journals and is the recipient of several international awards in spectroscopy. Currently, Dr. Rabolt is an associate editor for Macromolecules, an American Chemical Society journal.
Dr. Rabolt has spent the last 25 years investigating the relationship between the chemical architecture and shape of long chain organic molecules/polymers and their mechanical, electrical, optical, and electronic properties. Along the way he has brought an understanding to how polymers can be made into conductive wires and how thin saran-wrap type films can be used to confine laser light in a narrow beam for telecommunication.
Rabolt was the recipient of the 1993 Ellis R. Lippincott Award from OSA.