Akira Yoshino

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Akira Yoshino
Native name
吉野 彰
Born (1948-01-30) January 30, 1948 (age 70)
Alma materKyoto University
AwardsIEEE Medal for Environmental and Safety Technologies (2012)
Global Energy Prize (2013)
Charles Stark Draper Prize (2014)
Japan Prize (2018)
Scientific career
InstitutionsAsahi Kasei
Meijo University

Akira Yoshino (吉野 彰, Yoshino Akira, born 30 January 1948) is a Japanese chemist. Fellow of Asahi Kasei Corporation and professor of Meijo University. He is the inventor of lithium-ion battery (LIB) often used in cellular phones and notebook computers.

Early life and education[edit]

Yoshino was born in Osaka, Japan on January 30, 1948. He holds a B.S. (1970) and a M.S. in Engineering (1972) at Kyoto University, and obtained a Doctorate in Engineering from Osaka University (a Dissertation PhD).[1][2]


  • 1972: Kawasaki Laboratory, Asahi Kasei Corp. / development of lithium-ion battery etc.
  • 1992: Manager, Product Development Group, Ion Battery Business Promotion Dept., Asahi Kasei Corp.
  • 1994: Manager, Technical Development, A&T Battery Corp. (LIB manufacturer. Joint venture company of Asahi Kasei and Toshiba))
  • 2003–present: Fellow, Asahi Kasei Corp. / researching next-generation themes
  • 2005–present: General Manager, Yoshino Laboratory, Asahi Kasei Corp. / advanced battery research

Invention of lithium-ion secondary battery[edit]

In 1981 Akira Yoshino began research on rechargeable batteries using polyacetylene. Polyacetylene is the electroconductive polymer discovered by Hideki Shirakawa, who later (in 2000) would be awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for its discovery.

In 1983 Yoshino fabricated a prototype rechargeable battery using lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2) (discovered in 1979 by Godshall et al. at Stanford University,[3][4][5] and John Goodenough and Koichi Mizushima at Oxford University) as cathode and polyacetylene as anode. This prototype, in which the anode material itself contains no lithium, and lithium ions migrate from the LiCoO2 cathode into the anode during charging, was the direct precursor to the modern lithium-ion battery (LIB).

Polyacetylene had low real density which meant high capacity required large battery volume, and also had problems with instability, so Yoshino switched to carbonaceous material as anode and in 1985 fabricated the first prototype of the LIB and received the basic patent.,[6][7]

This was the birth of the current lithium-ion battery.

The LIB in this configuration was commercialized by Sony in 1991 and by A&T Battery (joint venture company of Asahi Kasei and Toshiba) in 1992.

Yoshino discovered that carbonaceous material with a certain crystalline structure was suitable as anode material,[6][7] and this is the anode material that was used in the first generation of commercial LIBs. Yoshino developed the aluminum foil current collector[8] which formed a passivation layer to enable high cell voltage at low cost, and developed the functional separator membrane[9] and the use of a positive temperature coefficient (PTC) device[10] for additional safety.

The LIB’s coil-wound structure was conceived by Yoshino to provide large electrode surface area and enable high current discharge despite the low conductivity of the organic electrolyte.

In 1986 Yoshino commissioned the manufacture of a batch of LIB prototypes. Based on safety test data from those prototypes, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a letter stating that the batteries were different from the metallic lithium battery.[11]



  1. ^ "Akira Yoshino: Inventing The Lithium Ion Battery". 1 June 2018.
  2. ^ http://www.asahi-kasei.co.jp/asahi/en/r_and_d/interview/yoshino/pdf/lithium-ion_battery.pdf
  3. ^ N. A. Godshall, I. D. Raistrick, and R. A. Huggins, Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Abstract 162, Vol. 126, p. 322C; "Thermodynamic Investigations of Ternary Lithium-Transition Metal-Oxide Systems for Lithium Batteries" (August 1979).
  4. ^ N. A. Godshall, I. D. Raistrick, and R. A. Huggins, Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Extended Abstract 162, Vol. 79-2, pp. 420-422; Thermodynamic Investigations of Ternary Lithium-Transition Metal-Oxide Systems for Lithium Batteries" (October 1979).
  5. ^ Ned A. Godshall, "Electrochemical and Thermodynamic Investigation of Ternary Lithium -Transition Metal-Oxide Cathode Materials for Lithium Batteries: Li2MnO4 spinel, LiCoO2, and LiFeO2", Presentation at 156th Meeting of the Electrochemical Society, Los Angeles, CA, (17 October 1979).
  6. ^ a b US 4668595, Yoshino; Akira, "Secondary Battery", issued 9 May 1986, assigned to Ashahi Kasei , Priority Data 10 May 1985, by Espacenet Patent search
  8. ^ "Article of Tech-On". Archived from the original on 22 March 2012., JP 2128922, Yoshino; Akira, "Nonaqueous secondary Battery", Application date 28 May 1984, issued 2 May 1997, assigned to Asahi Kasei
  9. ^ "JP 2642206"., Yoshino; Akira, "Battery", Application date 28 May 1989, issued 2 May 1997, assigned to Asahi Kasei
  10. ^ "JP 3035677"., Yoshino; Akira, " Secondary battery equipped with safety element", Application date 13 September 1991, issued 25 February 2000, assigned to Asahi Kasei
  11. ^ Lithium-ion secondary battery (Japanese) 2nd edition, chapter2 "History of development of lithium-ion secondary battery", P27-33, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (1996)
  12. ^ "MST 山崎貞一賞 - トップページ". www.mst.or.jp.
  13. ^ "NEC C&C Foundation". www.candc.or.jp.
  14. ^ The reason for the award-winning of the IEEE Medal and prize winners, John B. Goodenough and Rachid Yazami were awarded jointly.
  15. ^ "Russia honors lithium-ion scientist". 23 June 2013 – via Japan Times Online.
  16. ^ "UT Austin's John B. Goodenough Wins Engineering's Highest Honor for Pioneering Lithium-Ion Battery". 6 January 2014.
  17. ^ Lee, Bruce Y. "10 Lessons On How To Innovate From This Year's Japan Prize Winners".

External links[edit]