An active material for an electrochemical device may have a surface modification agent that is a silane, organometallic compound, or a mixture of two or more of such compounds. Both negative and positive electrodes may be prepared from the surface modified active materials. The surface of an electrode may be modified by adding the surface modification agent to a non-aqueous electrolyte used in constructing a battery. An electrode or active material may be modified with a surface modification agent in either the gas phase or in solution. Slurries of the active agent may be prepared and the surface modification agent added, the slurry then be used to cast an electrode that is then dried.
 The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-31-109-ENG-38 between the United States Government and The University of Chicago and/or pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357 between the United States Government and U Chicago Argonne, LLC representing Argonne National Laboratory.