[YesAuto 车坛孟料] Recently, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced the list of winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Among them, a 97-year-old veteran scientist attracted the attention of Chinese netizens. The reason is not his age, but his surname-Goodenough, the domestic “official” translation is Goodenough, but netizens still like to literally translate him as “good enough” grandpa.
Originally, this kind of basic science matter is very distant to us ordinary people, but this time it is very different, because the three Nobel Prize winners, including the “good enough” grandfather, are researching the same field as we are now Life is inseparable-this is the lithium-ion battery.
The three scientists who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry this time are John Goodenough (“good enough” grandfather), Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino. In the 1970s, Whittingham first proposed the concept of lithium-ion batteries. He used titanium disulfide as the positive electrode and metal lithium as the negative electrode to make the world's first lithium-ion battery.
The chemical properties of lithium metal are very active, and the use of lithium metal as a battery has potential safety hazards. Therefore, people began to study the use of lithium compounds to replace metal lithium to make batteries. In 1980, the “good enough” grandfather at Oxford University and Japanese scientist Koichi Mizushima jointly discovered the compound lithium cobalt oxide suitable for making battery positive electrodes.
In 1985, Akira Yoshino developed a lithium cobalt oxide battery, which completely eliminated lithium metal and became the first lithium-ion battery that could be commercialized. In 1991, Asahi Kasei, where Sony and Akira Yoshino belong, released commercial lithium-ion batteries. And this heralds the advent of a new era.
Lithium-ion batteries have the advantages of high energy density, high open circuit voltage, large output power, no memory effect, low self-discharge, and wide operating temperature range, so they are widely used in the field of consumer electronics. It can be said that it is the continuous research of scientists including the “good enough” grandfather that has allowed us to enter the era of mobile Internet. While enjoying the products of technology companies such as Apple, Huawei, and Samsung, we must not forget the contributions of these basic scientists.
In recent years, with the continuous development of electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries have gradually entered the field of automotive power batteries. Thanks to continuous research and large-scale production, power lithium batteries have made great progress in terms of energy density, safety and cost. However, it is undeniable that its performance is still far from our expectations. In this regard, the “good enough” grandfather once said, “I want to solve this problem before I die. I am only in my 90s and I still have time.” (Wen Auto Home Wang Meng)