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A comparison of the microtexture and structure of the low temperature heat-treated polyparaphenylene (PPP)-based carbons which are promising for the Li ion battery has been performed using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy. It is found that the PPP-based carbon prepared by Kovacic method remains in suitable microtexture for high Li storage over a wider temperature range relative to that obtained by Yamamoto method. This characteristic of the Kovacic PPP-based carbon could lead to a more controlled microtexture for obtaining a higher Li storage capacity for Li ion battery applications. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.