Nordic Life Science 1
John Goodenough receiving his Nobel Prize from H.
M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden n the late 1970s he became Head of the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory at the University of Oxford. It was during his time in Oxford that he made the discoveries that earned him a Nobel Prize. It was in 1979 that he developed the first rechargeable lithium-ion battery and since then he has dedicated his career to making the battery safer and more efficient. Despite the commercial success of the lithium-ion battery, Goodenough earned no royalties, Oxford had declined to patent his cathode and in the end, he signed away the royalty rights to the Atomic Energy Research Establishment, a UK government lab south of Oxford, hoping that at least his invention might reach the market. In 1986 Goodenough joined the University of Texas, Austin, where he is still an active professor, performing research and supervising graduate students. Currently he is working on how to develop a polymer that has an immobilized liquid in it, so that it conducts lithium or sodium as fast as in the liquid, which he described when Nobel Media spoke to him just after the Nobel Prize announcement. John Goodenough and Maria Helena Sousa Soares de Oliveira Braga at the Nobel Banquet Despite his age Goodenough has not given up hope of making a super-battery, one that will make electric cars truly competitive with combustion and also economically store wind and solar power. The problem however is a hard one to solve, trying to make an anode out of pure lithium or sodium metal. If possible the super-battery would have 60 percent more energy than current lithium-ion cells. So quite a challenge, but a necessary one he says. In an interview in Quartz in 2015 he has said he thinks the field has three decades to succeed and commercialize the breakthrough before truly grave problems arise within the environment and there are resource shortages. This, and getting to see his last PhD student graduate is on top of his wish list. NLS 90 NORDICLIFESCIENCE.ORG © NOBEL MEDIA AB PHOTO CLÉMENT MORIN © NOBEL MEDIA AB 2018. PHOTO ALEXANDER MAHMOUD © NOBEL MEDIA AB PHOTO NANAKA ADACHI