History of lithium ion batteries

A generational change in the research of lithium ion batteries has made possible for the EV and ESS at a large scale and moving in the direction of affordability to provide all. Coupled with this, increase in purchasing power of consumers in developing economies has driven demand of lithium ion batteries such that we need a lot of gigafactories and in the near future terafactories also.

 This all would never happened if the past discoveries haven't happened. To list a few, the history of  batteries and transition to lithium ion batteries is focused here below:


200 B.C.: Baghdad battery, a earthen pot of 5inch tall containing a copper cylinder and a iron rod seperated by bitumen, possibly used for mild electrotherapy or electroplating

1748: Benjamin Frankin first coined the word Battery to describe multiple Lyden Jars acting as electrical devices

1800: Alessandro Volta built first electrochemical Battery, the voltaic pile with copper and zinc plates in brine water.

1834: Micheal Faraday explained the corrosion in voltaic pile as the consequence of reaction.

1836: John Frederic Daniell built first stable voltage cell used in practical application.


1970: M Staneley Wittingham developed Lithium ion battery using titanium sulfide and Lithium metal as the electrodes.

    Reversible intercalation in graphite and intercalation into cathodic oxides was discovered by J. O. Besenhard

1977: Samar Basu demonstrated electrochemical intercalation of lithium in graphite.

1979: John Goodenough and Koichi Mizushima demonstrated battery with  lithium cobalt oxide as stable cathode and lithium metal as anode. In a seperate group, Godshall et al., has worked on LCO, LMO compounds and LFO compounds before Goodenough for which he was awarded patent on LCO in 1982.

1980: Rachid Yazami demonstrated the reversible electrochemical intercalation of lithium in graphite which is commonly used today.

1983: Michael M. Thackeray, Goodenough, and coworkers identified manganese spinel as cathode.

1985: Protoype of Li battery by Akira yoshino.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019 "for the development of lithium-ion batteries"

1989: Goodenough and Arumugam Manthiram showed cathodes with polyanions like sulfates.

1991: Sony developed first commercial Li-ion battery.

1996: Goodenough, Akshaya Padhi and coworkers proposed lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) and other phospho-olivines

1998: Johnson et al., report high capacity high voltage lithium-rich NMC cathode materials

2002: Yet-Ming Chiang and his group at MIT showed a substantial improvement in the performance of lithium batteries by boosting the material's conductivity by doping it with aluminum, niobium and zirconium.

2004: Chiang increased performance by utilizing iron phosphate particles of less than 100 nanometers in diameter. This decreased particle density almost one hundredfold, increased the positive electrode's surface area and improved capacity and performanc.

2005: Wittingham et al., reported high energy density vanadium phosphate cathode material.

2019: Nobel Prize in Chemistry to John Goodenough, Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino for development of LIB's


Introduction to batteries | History of batteries | Lithium ion batteries | Working Principle | How ecofriendly are they | Need for batteries | Cost of Batteries | Formation Cycle | Effect of Temperature | Voltage | C Rate and Fast Charging | Other Secondary Batteries | Primary Vs Secondary | Ragone Plot | Forms and Sizes | Battery Packs | Thermal Engineering | Transportation | Recycling | Glossary | Electric Vehicles | Energy Storage | Different LIB | Safety | Testing


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