High-capacity carbon electrodes for rechageable lithium-ion batteries were prepared by carbonization of thermosetting resins such as phenol-formaldehyde at temperatures between 500°C and 600°C. Their structures were characterized by high resolution transmission electron microscopy, in-situ transmission electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction analysis. These studies suggest that the carbons consist predominantly of disorganized (amorphous) phase. However evidence was found in carbon containing nickel cobalt oxide for the presence of organized graphite-like regions of parallel and curved layer planes. These graphitized structure usually appear as agglomerate particles which are composed of many smaller (100-nm diameter) particles. The high degree of graphitization is attributed to catalytic graphitization that occurs in the presence of the metal oxide.