In Memory of John B. Goodenough: Co-Inventor of the Lithium-Ion Battery

We are sad to share the news of the passing of John B. Goodenough

John B. Goodenough, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2019, is credited with the essential research and development of the lithium-ion battery and, many say, the father of the electric vehicle (EV). Through his groundbreaking work, the batteries that we rely upon so heavily were brought into the world. John B. Goodenough passed away yesterday, 25th of June 2023, at 100 years old. 

John Bannister Goodenough, born on July 25, 1922, was an esteemed American scientist. He made significant contributions to materials science and solid-state physics. His groundbreaking work in battery technology revolutionized energy storage and played a crucial role in the development of EVs.

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Goodenough’s most notable achievement was co-inventing the lithium-ion battery. In the early 1980s, while at the University of Oxford, he discovered the potential of lithium cobalt oxide as a cathode material. This discovery paved the way for the commercialization of the lithium-ion battery.

The lithium-ion battery, with its high energy density and long cycle life, transformed consumer electronics. It powers devices like laptops, smartphones, and tablets. We know it today as the primary battery powering EVs around the world.

By enhancing the energy storage capabilities of lithium-ion batteries, Goodenough enabled the birth and growth of the EV industry. These batteries store large amounts of energy, providing extended driving ranges and enabling fast charging. 

In 2019, Goodenough, along with M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino, received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. This prestigious honour recognized their invaluable contributions to lithium-ion batteries and their impact on energy storage technology.

Goodenough’s research and dedication to advancing battery technology have left a lasting legacy. His work serves as the foundation for ongoing advancements in energy storage, driving innovation in EVs and renewable energy integration.

“Be enthusiastic about life. Be thankful for life and be thankful to people who like to engage in meaningful dialogue with you.”

John B. Goodenough

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