Prof. Mangolini and his colleagues from the University of California, Riverside have developed a novel silicon-tin nanocomposite that may be used as anodes for lithium ion batteries. Commercial silicon particles and off-the-shelf additives such as tin dichloride are used due to their low material cost, and have shown good performance in both capacity and stability. These hybrid structures show a dramatic improvement compared to those prepared with silicon alone. Measurements suggest that these composites have an overall lower active layer resistance compared to a silicon-only case. This avoids the formation of electrical “dead spots”, and enables the full utilization of the active material. The effectiveness of this simple, low-cost approach suggests that if used in combination with more advanced structures, it may be provide the critical improvement necessary to finally realize a silicon-based next-generation anode. Fig 1: (A) Top-down SEM of the active layer after coating and annealing, without the addition of the tin precursor (B) Same as (A), but with the addition of the tin precursor.