A method is provided for measuring the concentration of a catalytic clement in a fuel cell powder. The method includes depositing on a porous substrate at least one layer of a powder mixture comprising the fuel cell powder and an internal standard material, ablating a sample of the powder mixture using a laser, and vaporizing the sample using an inductively coupled plasma. A normalized concentration of catalytic element in the sample is determined by quantifying the intensity of a first signal correlated to the amount of catalytic element in the sample, quantifying the intensity of a second signal correlated to the amount of internal standard material in the sample, and using a ratio of the first signal intensity to the second signal intensity to cancel out the effects of sample size.
The work described herein was supported, in part, by grant DE-FC36-03GO13104 from the United States Department of Energy. Therefore, the U.S. Government may have certain rights in this invention.