The present invention relates to compositions including nano-particles and a nano-structured support matrix, methods of their preparation and applications thereof. The compositions of the present invention are particularly suitable for use as anode material for lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. The nano-structured support matrix can include nanotubes, nanowires, nanorods, and mixtures thereof. The composition can further include a substrate on which the nano-structured support matrix is formed. The substrate can include a current collector material.