Fine particles of metal oxides with carefully controlled compositions can be easily prepared by the thermal decomposition of porous polymers, such as cellulose, into which solutions containing salts of the desired cations have been dissolved. This is a simple and versatile method that can be used to produce a wide variety of materials with a range of particle sizes and carefully controlled chemical compositions. Examples of the use of this method to produce fine particles of LiCoO2 and Li(NiMnCo)1/3O2, which are used in the positive electrodes of lithium-ion batteries, are shown. Experiments have demonstrated that materials made using this method can have electrochemical properties comparable to those typically produced by more elaborate procedures. © 2011 The Electrochemical Society.