Established in 2008, the John B Goodenough Prize recognises the work of John Bannister Goodenough.
Goodenough received a degree in Mathematics at Yale whilst serving in the U.S. army air force. He went on to become a research scientist and group leader at MIT Lincoln Laboratory for 24 years. During this time Goodenough made significant contributions to the development of the first RAM. He formulated the concept of cooperative orbital ordering to remove d-orbital degeneracy; the resulting crystallographic distortions are Jahn-Teller distortions.
Goodenough also recognized that short-range orbital ordering built in chemical inhomogeneities that enabled control of the magnetic B-H loop for ferrospinel memory cores. He applied the concept of cooperative orbital order to account for the anisotropic magnetic order in the system La1-xCaxMnO3, and formulated the rules for the sign of the spin-spin interactions - the Goodenough-Kanamori rules. In the 1960s, his exploration of the transition from localized to itinerant d-electron behaviour not only resolved the origin of the metallic conductivity found in some perovskites, but also led to his recognition that this transition is first-order and is evident in charge-density waves.
Termination by Congress of such fundamental studies at Lincoln Laboratory led Goodenough to explore energy materials as Professor and Head of the Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory, University of Oxford, where he developed layered and spinel oxides as cathodes for the Li rechargeable battery. SONY, of Japan, adopted his layered Li1-xCoO2 cathode to launch the cell telephone and laptop computer, initiating the "wireless revolution". In 2019, along with Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino, Goodenough received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the development of lithium-ion batteries.
In 2020, as part of a series of changes resulting from an independent review of the Royal Society of Chemistry's recognition programmes, this prize changed to run in even years, alternating with the De Gennes Prize (odd years).