Akira Yoshino

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Akira Yoshino (吉野 彰 Yoshino Akira?, born 30 January 1948) is a Japanese chemist. Fellow, Asahi Kasei Corporation Inventor of lithium-ion battery (LIB) used for cellular phone and notebook computer etc.


1970: Kyoto University / Kyoto, Japan B.S. in Engineering

1972: Kyoto University / Kyoto, Japan M.S. in Engineering

2005: Osaka University / Osaka, Japan Doctorate in Engineering


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


1999: Fiscal 1998 Chemical Technology Prize from the Chemical Society of Japan

1999: Battery Division Technology Award from The Electrochemical Society

2001: Ichimura Prizes in Industry—Meritorious Achievement Prize

2003: Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology—Prize for Science and Technology, Development Category

2004: Medal with Purple Ribbon, from the Government of Japan

2011: Yamazaki-Teiichi Prize from the Foundation for Promotion of Material Science and Technology of Japan[1]

2011: C&C Prize from the NEC C&C Foundation[2]

2012 : IEEE Medal for Environmental and Safety Technologies from the IEEE (USA)[3]

2013 : Global Energy Prize (Russia)

2014 : Charles Stark Draper Prize (USA)

Invention of lithium-ion secondary battery

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 by John Goodenough and Koichi Mizushima in 1979) 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.,[4][5]

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,[4][5] and this is the anode material that was used in the first generation of commercial LIBs. Yoshino developed the aluminum foil current collector[6] which formed a passivation layer to enable high cell voltage at low cost, and developed the functional separator membrane[7] and the use of a positive temperature coefficient (PTC) device[8] 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.[9]


  1. The reason for the award-winning of the Yamazaki-Teiichi Prize
  2. The reason for the award-winning of the C&C Prize
  3. The reason for the award-winning of the IEEE Medal and prize winners, John B. Goodenough and Rachid Yazami were awarded jointly.
  4. 4.0 4.1 US 4668595, Yoshino; Akira, "Secondary Battery", issued 9 May 1986, assigned to Ashahi Kasei , Priority Data 10 May 1985, by Espacenet Patent search
  5. 5.0 5.1 "JP 2642206".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>, by USPTO PATENT FULL-TEXT AND IMAGE DATABASE
  6. "Article of Tech-On".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>, JP 2128922, Yoshino; Akira, "Nonaqueous secondary Battery", Application date 28 May 1984, issued 2 May 1997, assigned to Asahi Kasei
  7. "JP 2642206".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>, Yoshino; Akira, "Battery", Application date 28 May 1989, issued 2 May 1997, assigned to Asahi Kasei
  8. "JP 3035677".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>, Yoshino; Akira, " Secondary battery equipped with safety element", Application date 13 September 1991, issued 25 February 2000, assigned to Asahi Kasei
  9. Lithium-ion secondary battery (Japanese) 2nd edition, chapter2 "History of development of lithium-ion secondary battery", P27-33, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (1996)

External links