The present invention relates to production of composite materials utilizing an electroless deposition method for coating substrates with bismuth, antimony, tin, silicon, cobalt and their various compositional alloys. Substrates may be materials comprised of copper, brass, carbon, and silicon. These substrates are immersed in aqueous or ethylene glycol based solutions containing soluble ions of the desired coating material. The present invention generates desired coatings at room temperature during a period of immersion of one hour or less. In one exemplary embodiment, the method provides the electroless deposition of silicon onto copper nanoparticles in a room temperature solution of ethylene glycol. The coated nanoparticles may then be processed to form a battery electrode. In another exemplary embodiment, the method provides electroless deposition of tin onto brass foil in a room temperature aqueous solution. Battery electrodes may then be punched from the coated sheet.
 The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to the employer-employee relationship of the Government to the inventors as U.S. Department of Energy employees at the National Energy Technology Laboratory.