- 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Professor of chemistry and director of both the Institute for Materials Research and the Materials Science
and Engineering program at Binghamton University. Director of the Northeastern Center for Chemical Energy Storage, Energy Frontier Research Center of U.S. Department of Energy at Binghamton since 2011. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2019 alongside Akira Yoshino and John Goodenough "for the development of lithium-ion batteries".
Education and Work Experience
1960-1972, BA, MS, Ph.D. in Chemistry, Oxford University
1968-1972, Postdoctoral fellow, Stanford University
1972-1984, Member of Scientific Staff, Exxon Research & Engineering Company
1988-Present, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering, Binghamton University
Honors and Awards
2018, Member National Academy of Engineering
2019, Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Major Academic Achievements
Whittingham is a key figure in the history of the development of lithium-ion batteries, which now are used in everything from mobile phones to electric vehicles. He discovered the intercalation electrodes in 1970s for the first time and thoroughly described the concept of intercalation reaction for rechargeable batteries in the late of 1970s. He holds the original patents on the concept of the use of intercalation chemistry in high-power density, highly reversible lithium batteries. And he invented the first rechargeable lithium ion battery, patented in 1977 and assigned to Exxon. His work on lithium battery laid the foundations for other followers' later developments. Therefore, he is the called Founding Father of rechargeable lithium batteries.