The Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to 3 scientists who led the event of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries which are used to energy every part from cell phones to laptops and electrical autos.
The laureates have laid the inspiration of a wi-fi and doubtlessly carbon-free society, stated the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, saying their award in Stockholm on Wednesday.
John Goodenough of the University of Texas at Austin, Stanley Whittingham of Binghamton University in New York and Akira Yoshino of Meijo University obtain equal shares of the SKr9m ($910,000) prize.
Professor Goodenough, 97 and nonetheless finishing up battery analysis, is the oldest laureate in any self-discipline within the 118-year historical past of Nobel Prizes, stated Göran Hansson, secretary-general of the Academy.
Academic analysis by Professors Goodenough and Whittingham through the 1970s and early 1980s laid the scientific foundations for lithium-ion batteries. Their work was picked up by Professor Yoshino at Asahi Kasei, the Japanese chemical firm, which developed the primary commercially viable lithium-ion battery in 1985. Sony launched it in the marketplace in 1991.
Speaking to the Nobel press convention by cellphone from Japan, Professor Yoshino — aged 71 and the youngest of the three winners — stated that, although he was working in trade, “curiosity was the main driving force for me”.
He stated lithium-ion batteries would play a key function in combating international warming. “Climate change is a very serious issue for humankind,” he stated. “The way batteries store electricity makes them very suitable for a sustainable society.”