A silicon-based electrode includes a silicon layer on a substrate, an electrically conductive layer overlying a top surface of the silicon layer, an optional polymer layer overlying the top surface of the electrically conducting layer, and a plurality of channels extending through the electrically conductive layer and the silicon layer to the substrate. The channels define sidewalls in the silicon layer. The electrically conductive layer and the optional polymer layer act to inhibit lithium ion intercalation through the top surface of the silicon layer during charging of a lithium-ion cell, and the lithium ion intercalation into the silicon layer occurs through the sidewalls that are defined by the channels.
FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
 This invention was made with government support under DE-AC02-06CH11 awarded by the US Department of Energy (DOE). The government has certain rights in the invention.