High-surface-area carbon nanostructures coated with a smooth and conformal submonolayer-to-multilayer thin metal films and their method of manufacture are described. The preferred manufacturing process involves the initial oxidation of the carbon nanostructures followed by a surface preparation process involving immersion in a solution with the desired pH to create negative surface dipoles. The nanostructures are subsequently immersed in an alkaline solution containing a suitable quantity of non-noble metal ions which adsorb at surface reaction sites. The metal ions are then reduced via chemical or electrical means. The nanostructures are exposed to a solution containing a salt of one or more noble metals which replace adsorbed non-noble surface metal atoms by galvanic displacement. The process can be controlled and repeated to obtain a desired film coverage. The resulting coated nanostructures may be used, for example, as high-performance electrodes in supercapacitors, batteries, or other electric storage devices.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT LICENSE RIGHTS
 This invention was made with Government support under contract number DE-AC02-98CH10886, awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.