94 Year Old Inventor of Lithium Battery Invents a Better Battery!
John Goodenough , is 94 and apparently, at least in his own eyes is . . . well, never good enough.
Thirty years ago, Goodenough co-invented the rechargeable lithium-ion battery which is the foundation for most of today’s electronic devices. At 94, he is now a professor at the University of Texas in Austin, and along with senior research fellow Maria Helena Brags from the Cockrell School of Engineering in Austin, invented an even better version of his lithium-ion batter.
Currently, lithium-ion batteries are made out of a solid cathode ( a device is the terminal where current flows out) and an anode ( a device is the terminal where current flows in from outside). The cathode and anode are separated by a liquid electrolyte that conducts electricity.
Goodenough and Braga have replaced that liquid with a glass electrolyte that is more efficient. What they’ve done is create a solid-state battery which means their battery doesn’t contain any liquid elements.
Here’s the reasons their solid state battery is better than a lithium-ion battery:
- Charging can happen in minutes rather than hours
- There’s little risk of explosion.
- It has three times more energy density.
- Delivers a longer life cycle.
- Battery cells can be made from earth-friendly materials.
- Simpler battery cell fabrication.
Goodenough and Braga hope to work with battery makers to develop and test their new materials in electric vehicles and energy storage devices.
I don’t know what’s more exciting – a 94 year old scientist who is still working and inventing or a faster way to charge my cell phone!