John B. Goodenough
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019
Born: 25 July 1922, Jena, Germany
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Texas, Austin, TX, USA
Prize motivation: “for the development of lithium-ion batteries”
Prize share: 1/3
John Goodenough was born to American parents in Jena, Germany. After studying mathematics at Yale University, he served during the Second World War as a meteorologist in the US Army. He then studied at the University of Chicago, receiving a doctorate in physics there in 1952. He subsequently worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Oxford University in Great Britain. Since 1986 he has been a professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
Storing electrical energy in batteries is a key factor in solving the world's energy supply. The element lithium is useful in batteries since it willingly releases electrons. In 1980 John Goodenough developed a lithium battery with a cathode of cobalt oxide, which, at a molecular level, has spaces that can house lithium ions. This cathode gave a higher voltage than earlier batteries. Goodenough's contributions were crucial for the development of lithium-ion batteries, which are used in for example mobile phones and electric cars.
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