Provided is an electrode fabricated from highly electronically conductive materials such as metals, metal alloys, or electronically conductive ceramics. The electronic conductivity of the electrode substrate is maximized. Onto this electrode in the green state, a green ionic (e.g., electrolyte) film is deposited and the assembly is co-fired at a temperature suitable to fully densify the film while the substrate retains porosity. Subsequently, a catalytic material is added to the electrode structure by infiltration of a metal salt and subsequent low temperature firing. The invention allows for an electrode with high electronic conductivity and sufficient catalytic activity to achieve high power density in ionic (electrochemical) devices such as fuel cells and electrolytic gas separation systems.
This invention was made with government support in the course of or under prime contract No. DE-ACO3-76SF00098 between the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of California. The government has certain rights in this invention.