A method for forming a graphitic carbon film at low temperatures is described. The method involves using microwave radiation to produce a neutral gas plasma in a reactor cell. At least one carbon precursor material in the reactor cell forms a graphitic carbon film on a substrate in the cell under influence of the plasma. This method can be used to coat active electrode material powders with highly conductive carbon, which can be especially useful in forming composite electrodes. When an organometallic is used as the precursor, this method can also be used to form carbon/metal catalyst films.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENTAL SUPPORT
 The invention described and claimed herein was made in part utilizing funds supplied by the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC03-76SF00098, and more recently under DE-AC02-05CH11231. The government has certain rights in this invention.