A catalyst element (30) for high temperature applications such as a gas turbine engine. The catalyst element includes a metal substrate such as a tube (32) having a layer of ceramic thermal barrier coating material (34) disposed on the substrate for thermally insulating the metal substrate from a high temperature fuel/air mixture. The ceramic thermal barrier coating material is formed of a crystal structure populated with base elements but with selected sites of the crystal structure being populated by substitute ions selected to allow the ceramic thermal barrier coating material to catalytically react the fuel-air mixture at a higher rate than would the base compound without the ionic substitutions. Precious metal crystallites may be disposed within the crystal structure to allow the ceramic thermal barrier coating material to catalytically react the fuel-air mixture at a lower light-off temperature than would the ceramic thermal barrier coating material without the precious metal crystallites.
This invention was made with United States Government support through Contract Number DOE-DE-FC26-03NT41891 awarded by the Department of Energy, and, in accordance with the terms set forth in that contract, the United States Government may have certain rights in the invention.