LiFePO4 is a potential candidate for the cathode material of the lithium secondary batteries. Co-precipitation method and microwave heating were adopted to study about LiFePO4. The samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscope, particle-size analysis, ICP composition analysis and electrochemical methods. Olivine phase LiFePO4 was successfully synthesized in a few minutes. The specific capacity, cycle property and rate capability were impressive as compared with previous reports. The microwave heating method using activated carbon is a very simple and useful tool to control the iron oxidation state to 2+ without reductive gas flow. (C) 2003 Published by Elsevier B.V.