John Goodenough, Nobel laureate, and battery pioneer, dies at 100

John Goodenough dies at 100

The inventor of lithium-ion batteries and Nobel laureate John Goodenough passed away on Sunday, one month shy of turning 101.

Goodenough was awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on lithium-ion batteries along with British scientist Stanley Whittingham and Japanese scientist Akira Yoshino, making him the oldest laureate of the award.

A “glass” battery with a solid-state electrolyte and lithium or sodium metal electrodes was one of the innovative energy storage strategies that Goodenough and his university team had been investigating recently.

As an alternative to nickel- and cobalt-based cathodes, Goodenough was also a pioneer in the development of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cathodes. In electric vehicle batteries, LFP is quickly replacing more expensive nickel, cobalt, manganese, and other metals.

He was born to American parents on July 25, 1922, in Jena, Germany.

Goodenough graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Yale University before earning a master’s degree and a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he worked as a researcher and team leader before leading the inorganic chemistry department at the University of Oxford.

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