Fuel cell electrodes comprising a minimal load of catalyst having maximum catalytic activity and a method of forming such fuel cell electrodes. The method comprises vaporizing a catalyst, preferably platinum, in a vacuum to form a catalyst vapor. A catalytically effective amount of the catalyst vapor is deposited onto a carbon catalyst support on the fuel cell electrode. The electrode preferably is carbon cloth. The method reduces the amount of catalyst needed for a high performance fuel cell electrode to about 0.3 mg/cm.sup.2 or less.
The U.S. Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of contract No. (or Grant No.) DE-AC08-96NV11986 awarded by the United States Department of Energy.