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John B. Goodenough

John Bannister Goodenough is an American professor and prominent solid-state physicist. He is currently a professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at the University of Texas at Austin. He is widely credited for the identification and development of the Li-ion rechargeable battery as well as for developing the Goodenough-Kanamori rules for determining the sign of the magnetic superexchange in materials.



He received a B.S. in Mathematics from Yale University in 1944, where he was a member of Skull and Bones. After serving overseas in World War II, he returned to complete a Ph.D. in Physics under the supervision of Clarence Zener at the University of Chicago in 1952.

Early Career at Lincoln Laboratories

During his early career, he was a research scientist at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory. During this time he was part of an interdisciplinary team responsible for developing random access magnetic memory. His research efforts on RAM led him to develop the concepts of cooperative orbital ordering, also known as a cooperative Jahn-Teller distortion, in oxide materials, and subsequently led to his developing the rules for the sign of the magnetic superexchange in materials, now known as the Goodenough-Kanamori rules.

Tenure at Oxford University

During the late 70s and early 80s, he continued his career as head of the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory at Oxford University, where he identified and developed LixCoO2 as the cathode material of choice for the Li-ion rechargeable battery that is now ubiquitous in today's portable electronic devices. Although Sony is responsible for the commercialization of the technology, he is widely credited for its original identification and development. He received the Japan Prize in 2001 for his discoveries of the materials critical to the development of lightweight rechargeable batteries.

Professorship at University of Texas at Austin

Since 1986, he has been a Professor at the University of Texas at Austin in the departments of Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering. During his tenure there, his continued research on electrochemical devices has identified LixFePO4 as a less costly cathode material that is safe for power applications such as machine tools and Hybrid electric vehicles. He has also identified promising electrode and electrolyte materials for the solid oxide fuel cell. He currently holds the Virginia H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering.

Fundamental Investigations throughout his career

On the fundamental side, his research has focused on magnetism and on the transition from magnetic-insulator to metallic behavior in transition-metal oxides. On the basis of the Virial Theorem, he recognized that this transition should be first-order and should, where the phase transition occurs at too low a temperature for atomic diffusion, result in lattice instabilities. At this crossover, these instabilities lead to charge-density waves in single-valent oxides and to phase-fluctuations in mixed-valent oxides. The phase fluctuations are responsible for such unusual physical properties as high-temperature superconductivity in copper oxides and a colossal magnetoresistance in manganese and cobalt oxides.


Professor Goodenough is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and L'Academie des Sciences de L'Institut de France and Academia de Ciencias Exactas, Fisicas y Naturales of Spain. He has authored more than 550 articles, 85 book chapters and reviews, and five books, including two seminal works, Magnetism and the Chemical Bond (1963) and Les oxydes des metaux de transition (1973).


John B. Goodenough. Faculty. The University of Texas at Austin Mechanical Engineering Department (May 03, 2005). Retrieved on 2006-05-10.

John B. Goodenough (1963). Magnetism and the Chemical Bond. Interscience-Wiley, New York. 

John B. Goodenough (1973). Les oxydes des metaux de transition. Gauthier-Villers, Paris. 

John B. Goodenough, ed. (2001). Structure & Bonding, V. 98. 

John B. Goodenough (2004). "Electronic and ionic transport properties and other physical aspects of perovskites". Rep. Prog. Phys. 67: 1915-1973.

K. Mizushima, P.C. Jones, P.J. Wiseman, and J.B. Goodenough (1980). "{{{title}}}". Mater. Res. Bull. 15: 783-799.

John B. Goodenough (1985). "Manganese Oxides as Battery Cathodes". Proceedings Symposium on Manganese Dioxide Electrode: Theory and Practice for Electrochemical Applications 85-4: 77-96. Re Electrochem. Soc. Inc, N.J..

A.K. Padhi, K.S. Nanjundaswamy, and J.B. Goodenough (1997). "Phospho-Olivines as Positive Electrode Materials for Rechargeable Lithium Batteries". J. Electrochem. Soc. 144: 1188-1194.

John B. Goodenough (1955). "Theory of the role of covalence in the Perovskite-type Manganites". Phys. Rev. 79: 564.

John N. Lalena and David A. Cleary (2005). Principles of Inorganic Materials Design. Wiley-Intersciece, xi-xiv, 233-269. 

University of Texas, Austin, TX. Interview. March 6, 2007.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "John_B._Goodenough". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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