A method of making a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) having an anode and a cathode and a proton conductive membrane there between. A bundle of longitudinally aligned carbon nanotubes with a catalytically active transition metal incorporated in the nanotubes forms at least one portion of the MEA and is in contact with the membrane. A combination selected from one or more of a hydrocarbon and an organometallic compound containing an catalytically active transition metal and a nitrogen containing compound and an inert gas and a reducing gas is introduced into a first reaction zone maintained at a first reaction temperature for a time sufficient to vaporize material therein. The vaporized material is transmitted to a second reaction zone maintained at a second reaction temperature for a time sufficient to grow longitudinally aligned carbon nanotubes with a catalytically active transition metal incorporated throughout the nanotubes. The nanotubes are in contact with a portion of the MEA at production or being positioned in contact thereafter. Methods of forming a PEMFC are also disclosed.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-31-109-ENG-38 between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and The University of Chicago representing Argonne National Laboratory.