National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS)
Innovative Center of Nanomaterials Science for Environment and Energy (ICNSEE), MEXT Program
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Announcement of the Recipient of the NIMS Award 2010 for
Recent Breakthroughs in Material Science and Technology

Award Recipient:Professor Jean Marie Tarascon
ALISTORE-ERI,Insitute of Chemistry of Picardie

Winner of the NIMS Award for 2010
Candidate for the award: Jean-Marie Tarascon
(Professor at the University of Picardie Jules Verne in France)
Title: Improvements in the capacity, life, and safety of the lithium-ion battery

Explanation of his achievements
   The debut of such instruments as the notebook PC, mobile phone, and digital camera have greatly changed the behavioral patterns of people today, yet none of these devices would have become as sophisticated and widespread as they are today without the lithium-ion secondary battery, because it is used by them almost without exception. The same is true of the electric vehicles that are currently seeing rapid progress in research and development. Electric vehicles already on the market and those expected to be put into practical use in the near future mostly employ a lithium-ion battery as the secondary energy source. The lithium-ion secondary battery has become an indispensable product for the construction of a sustainable society because it limits the emissions of carbon dioxide and toxic exhaust fumes. At the same time, a secondary battery that uses lithium—a resource abundant on the planet—is excellent in the extreme from the resource point of view, and it is so abundant that it is helpful to the even distri bution of large facilities for photovoltaic generation and wind generation.
   In order to make products that use highly reactive lithium widely-used in the consumer market, it was first necessary to solve many problems. Dr. John Goodenough and other U.S. researchers proposed and developed the basic concept of the lithium-ion secondary battery, and they contributed greatly to the development of the lithium-ion battery. However, it was the improvements that Professor Tarascon and others made to various aspects, including the materials used in the lithium-ion battery, that opened up the way to making the lithium-ion battery practicable.
   One of Professor Tarascon’s great achievements was that he proposed and developed a lithium-ion secondary battery using a conversion electrode, because lithium ions were stored inside the battery— mainly where they went into the opening between the crystals of an electrode—prior to his proposal. In addition to proposing and developing the concept of the conversion electrode, Professor Tarascon developed a material that causes an electrode to have a chemical reaction, and contributed to the development of such issues as capacity, life to repeat discharge and charge, and the stability of a lithium-ion battery. The lithium-ion secondary batteries in practical use today mostly use a cobalt positive electrode system, but the manganese positive electrode that Professor Tarascon and others developed as the material for next-generation batteries is already being used, and this has the potential to open up the road to the future development of the lithium-ion secondary battery.
   Professor Tarascon and others also worked out a system to improve the safety and reliability of the lithium-ion secondary battery as a packaged product, and made great contributions to the solution of problems necessary for its practical application.
   In addition, Professor Tarascon was deeply involved in such subjects as the development of the carbon negative electrode, the invention of lithium-ion polymer battery that is already practically used as a small, light battery, and the development of the production process for a flat-plate lithium-ion secondary battery. His contributions in these areas are enormous.
   As described above, Professor Tarascon has contributed greatly to the development of the lithium-ion secondary battery—which has won for itself a significant market, and he used a material scientific approach to achieve these great contributions. We congratulate Professor Tarascon on his achievements that have contributed greatly to the improvement of the capacity, life, and safety of the lithium-ion battery by bestowing the NIMS Award on him during this conference.