As an important energy storage platform for portable electronics, lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) have been challenged by steadily growing demands for better performance, improved safety, and enhanced reliability. A variety of nanomaterials has emerged with good electrochemical properties and can be regarded as promising electrode materials for LIBs. In this feature article, we will specifically discuss two nanomaterials systems with unique structures, which show particular promise as anode materials for LIBs: tin dioxide (SnO2) hollow spheres and anatase titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanosheets (NSs) with exposed (001) high-energy facets. For both systems, we survey approaches for synthesizing the unique nanostructured materials required for improved LIB performance and subsequently review their lithium storage properties. By focusing on SnO2 and TiO2, we seek to provide rational understanding of the relationship between proper nanostructuring and enhanced physicochemical properties of the active anode material in LIBs; hopefully uncovering new possibilities to generate advanced materials for next generation rechargeable batteries.
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