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Christopher Johnson

Senior Chemist/Argonne Distinguished Fellow

Dr. Johnson has over 25 years experience in the field of energy storage. He is a technical expert in lithium-ion and sodium-ion batteries materials and their research and development.


Chris Johnson is currently a senior chemist and group leader at Argonne National Laboratory, specializing in the research & development of battery materials and battery systems with 25 years of experience. 

Johnson is known worldwide for his development of state-of-art lithium-ion battery cathode materials and emerging sodium-ion batteries.  He holds a BS. Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Northwestern University. He has published over 110 publications, and 24 issued US patents in the battery field.  He has received the research award from the International Battery Association in 2006, and a R&D-100 award for the commercialization of lithium battery materials in 2009.  Johnson was named a Fellow of The Electrochemical Society in 2017.  Presently, he is Chair of the Electrochemical Society Battery Division, and has been a member of the Electrochemical Society since 1993.

Education and Training:

  • 1987   B.S. (Chemistry)      University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 1992   Ph.D. (Chemistry)   Northwestern University, Evanston IL
  • 1992-1994    Post-Doctoral Fellow, Chemical Technology Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont IL

Research and Professional Experience:

  • 2014-present   Group Leader, Materials Research, Argonne National Laboratory
  • 2017-present   Senior Chemist, Argonne National Laboratory
  • Exploration of the intersection of photochemistry and batteries; towards extreme fast charging processes with light
  • Research in anionic redox chemistry towards high-energy density batteries
  • Exploration of (de)lithiation mechanisms in Si electrochemistry
  • 1997-2017       Chemist, Argonne National Laboratory
  • Development of new synthetic methods and applications to problems in materials science, chemistry and energy storage. Basic research in the areas of ionic transport and mechanisms, electrochemical interfaces, metal-oxide electrodes, electron/proton transfer processes, intercalation and composite structures, and phase diagrams.
  • Research in lithium batteries, sodium batteries, and multivalent batteries.
  • Application of nanoscience to the study of batteries.
  • Serves as the principle investigator on five different research projects.
  • Received the 2009 R&D 100 Award for the development of Composite Cathode Materials’.
  • Awarded the 2006 International Battery Association (IBA) Research Award in recognition of his work on the discovery and developing Li-rich & Mn-rich (LMR-NMC) cathodes for lithium batteries.
  • 1994-1997 Assistant Chemist, Argonne National Laboratory

Selected Publications: (of more than 110)

  1. Photo-Accelerated Fast Charging of Lithium-Ion Batteries.” A. Lee, M. Vӧrӧs, W. M. Dose, J. Niklas, O. Poluektov, R. D. Schaller, H. Iddir, V. A. Maroni, E. Lee, B. Ingram, L. A. Curtiss, C. S. Johnson, Nature 2018, (in revision)
  2. Enabling the high capacity of lithium-rich anti-fluorite lithium iron oxide by simultaneous anionic and cationic redox”  C. Zhan, Z. Yao, J. Lu, L. Ma, V. Maroni, L. Li, E. Lee, E. Alp, T. Wu, J. G. Wen, Y. Ren, C. S. Johnson, M. M. Thackeray, M. Chan, C. Wolverton, K. Amine, Nature Energy, 2017, 2, 963, DOI: 10.1038/s41560-017-0043-6J
  3.   A New Strategy to Mitigate the Initial Capacity Loss in Lithium-ion Batteries.”, Xin. Su, C.-K. Lin, X. Wang, V. Maroni, Y. Ren, C. S. Johnson, W. Lu, J. Power Sources, 2016, 324, 150-157, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2016.05.063
  4. Oxidation induced Doping of Nanoparticles Revealed by In Situ X-Ray Absorption Studies.” S.-G. Kwon, S. Chattopadhyay, B. Koo, P. dos Santos Claro, T. Shibata, F. Requejo, L. Giovanetti, Y. Liu, C. S. Johnson, V. Prakapenka, B. Lee, E. Shevchenko, Nano Lett. 2016, 16, 3738-3747, DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b01072
  5. Toward Lithium Ion Batteries with Enhanced Thermal Conductivity.” B. Koo, P. Goli, A. V. Sumant, P. C. D. Claro, T. Rajh, C. S. Johnson, A. A. Balandin, E. V. Shevchenko, ACS Nano, 2014, 8, 7202-7207, DOI: 10.1021/nn502212b
  6. Self-Improving Anode for Lithium-Ion Batteies Based on Amoprhous o Cubic Phase Transition in TiO2 Nanotubes.” H. Xiong, H. Yildirim, E. Shevchenko, V. B. Prakapenka, B. Koo, M.D. Slater, M. Balasubramanian, S. Sankaranarayanan, J. P. Greeley, S. Tepavcevic, P. Podsiadlo, C. S. Johnson, T. Rajh, J. Phys. Chem. C., 2012, 116, 3181-3187, DOI: 10.1021/jp210793u
  7. Intercalation of Sodium Ions into Hollow Iron Oxide Nanoparticles, B. Koo, S. Chattopadhyay, T. Shibata, V. Prakapenka, Christopher S. Johnson, T. Rajh, E. Shevchenko, Chem. Mater., 25, 245 (2013); cover article, DOI: 10.1021/cm303611z   
  8. Sodium-ion Batteries, M. D. Slater, D. Kim, E. Lee, Christopher S. Johnson, Adv. Funct. Mater., 2013, 23, 947; invited,   DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201200691
  9. Layered Na(Ni1/3Fe1/3Mn1/3)O2 Cathode for Sodium Battery Application, D. Kim, E. Lee, M. D. Slater, W. Lu, S. Rood, Christopher S. Johnson, Electrochem. Commun., 18, 66-69 (2012), DOI: 10.1016/j.elecom.2012.02.020
  10. Enabling Sodium-Ion Batteries Using Lithium-Substituted Sodium Layered Transition Metal Oxide Cathodes, D. Kim, S.-H. Kang, M. Slater, S. Rood, J. Vaughey, N. Karan, M. Balasubramanian, Christopher S. Johnson, Advanced Energy Materials, 2011, 1, 333 ,  DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201000061
  11. Development and Utility of Manganese Oxides as Cathodes for Lithium Batteries, Christopher S. Johnson,  J. Power Sources, 2007, 165, 559, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2006.10.040
  12. Surface Intervalence Enhanced Scattering from [Fe(CN)6]4- on Colloidal Titanium Dioxide.  A Mode-by-Mode Description of the Franck-Condon Barrier to Interfacial Charge Transfer, R. L. Blackbourn, Christopher S. Johnson, and J. T. Hupp, J. Am. Chem. Soc 113, 1060-1062, (1991), DOI: 10.1021/ja00003a060   


Select Professional Activities:

  • -  Fellow, The Electrochemical Society (ECS), elected 2017
  • -  Chair, Battery Division, The Electrochemical Society (ECS), (2017-2018).
  • -  Board Member, International Battery Association (IBA), (2003-present).
  • - Science Advisory Board – Center for Electrochemical Energy Research (2010-2014) Ohio University, CEER; Center for Electrochemical Engineering Research
  • -  Associate Editor, Scientific Reports, 2013-2015
  • -  Center for Electrochemical Energy Science (CEES-II), EFRC, 2014-present.
  • Lithium Metal Oxide electrodes for Lithium Cells and Batteries” M. M. Thackeray, C. S.   Johnson, K. Amine, J. Kim, U.S. 6,677,082, issued January 13, 2004, patent licensed to BASF.
  • - Lead Symposium Organizer: Energy Storage session at the American Physical Society (APS) (2013) Baltimore Conference, Battery Chemistry Beyond  Li Batteries, 224th ECS conference in San Francisco (2013), Chair and Organizer, ECS PRiME 2016, Symposium” Li-ion Batteries; 25th Silver    Anniversary of Li-ion Batteries”, Chair and Organizer, 2nd International Conference on Sodium Batteries, Phoenix AZ, October 2015. 

Awards, Honors, and Memberships

  • Gordon Research Conference – Batteries; session chair (2012)
  • Science Advisory Board – Center for Electrochemical Energy Research (CEER; Ohio University). 2010+
  • Multiple Symposium Organizer – National Electrochemical Society Meetings
  • Co-editor, NATO ARW Series Book (Springer, published 2006): New Carbon Materials for Electrochemical Energy Storage:  Batteries, Fuel Cells, and Supercapacitors”
  • Board Member, International Battery Association (IBA), (2003-present)
  • Chairman, NATO Advanced Carbon Research Workshop and Conference at Argonne National Laboratory, 2003
  • Co-organizer, program subcommittee, IBA-HBC, 2003, E. B. Yeager Memorial Symposium
  • Co-organizer, IBA Manganese Oxide Battery Materials Symposium, Argonne, 2000
  • ITE Battery Letters, Editorial Board (1999-present)
  • Active Member: The Electrochemical Society (ECS), Society for Electroanalytical Chemistry (SEAC), and International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE), Materials Research Society (MRS)
  • Peer reviewer – international journals such as Nature, Advanced Materials, Energy and Environmental Science,  and Journal of American Chemical Society
  • DOE program reviewer – SBIR and STTR proposals, EpSCOR
  • Elected Treasurer, Battery Division, The Electrochemical Society (ECS), 2010
  • Co-inventor – Argonne Layered-Layered’ Composite Oxide Cathodes
  • Multiple licensing arrangements in place with Fortune 100 companies
  • R&D 100 Award (“Composite Cathode Materials”), 2009
  • Elected Member-At-Large, Battery Division, The Electrochemical Society (ECS), 2008
  • International Battery Materials Association (IBA) Research Award, 2006

Publications & Patents

  • Layered Electrodes for Lithium Cells and Batteries”, Christopher S. Johnson, M. M. Thackeray, J. T. Vaughey, A. J. Kahaian, J.-S. Kim, U.S. Patent 7,358,009, Apr. 15, 2008
  • Lithium Metal Oxide Electrodes for Lithium Batteries”, M. M. Thackeray, J.-S. Kim, Christopher S. Johnson, U.S. Patent, 7,314,682, Jan. 1, 2008
  • Manganese Oxide Composite Electrodes for Lithium Batteries”, M. M. Thackeray, Christopher S. Johnson, Naichao Li, U.S. Patent, 7,303,840, Dec. 4, 2007
  • Protective Coating on Positive Lithium-Metal-Oxide Electrodes for Lithium Batteries”, Christopher S. Johnson, Michael Thackeray, Arthur J. Kahaian, U.S. Patent 7,049,031, May 23, 2006.
  • Lithium Metal Oxide Electrodes for Lithium Cells and Batteries- Manganese”. Michael Thackeray, Christopher S. Johnson, Jaekook Kim, and Kahlil Amine. U. S. Patent, 6,667,082, January 13, 2004.
  • Enabling Sodium-Ion Batteries Using Lithium-Substituted Sodium Layered Transition Metal Oxide Cathodes, D. Kim, S.-H. Kang, M. Slater, S. Rood, J. Vaughey, N. Karan, M. Balasubramanian, C. S. Johnson, Advanced Energy Materials, 1, 333 (2011)
  • High-Energy and High-Power Li-rich Nickel Manganese Oxide Electrode Materials, D. Kim, S.-H. Kang, M. Balasubramanian, Christopher S. Johnson, Electrochemistry Communications, 12, 1618 (2010)
  • Synthesis, Characterization and Electrochemistry of Composite’ Lithium Battery Electrodes: xLi2MnO3·(1 − x)LiMn0.333Ni0.333Co0.333O2(0 ≤ x≤ 0.7) Christopher S. Johnson, Naichao Li, Christina Lefief, John T. Vaughey, and Michael M. Thackeray, Chemistry of Materials, 20, 6095-6106 (2008)
  • Development and Utility of Manganese Oxides as Cathodes for Lithium Batteries C. S. Johnson J. Power Sources, 165, 559 (2007)
  • Li2MnO3-stabilized LiMO2(M = Mn, Ni, Co) electrodes for lithium-ion batteries Michael M. Thackeray, Sun-Ho Kang, Christopher S. Johnson, John T. Vaughey, Roy Benedek    and S. A. Hackney J. Mater. Chem. 17, 3112-3125 (2007)
  • Anomalous Capacity and Cycling Stability of xLi2MnO3· (1 − x)LiMO2Electrodes (M = Mn, Ni, Co) in Lithium Batteries at 50 °C Christopher S. Johnson, Naichao Li, Christina Lefief and Michael M. Thackeray, Electrochem. Commun., 9, 787 (2007)