Manganese oxide nanoparticles having a chemical composition that includes Mn.sub.3O.sub.4, a sponge like morphology and a particle size from about 65 to about 95 nanometers may be formed by calcining a manganese hydroxide material at a temperature from about 200 to about 400 degrees centigrade for a time period from about 1 to about 20 hours in an oxygen containing environment. The particular manganese oxide nanoparticles with the foregoing physical features may be used within a battery component, and in particular an anode within a lithium battery to provide enhanced performance.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
 The investigations that lead to the embodiments described herein and the invention claimed herein were funded by the United States Department of Energy under project number DE-SC0001086. The United States Government has rights in the invention claimed herein.