A c-axis-oriented HAP thin film synthesized by seeded growth on a palladium hydrogen membrane substrate. An exemplary synthetic process includes electrochemical seeding on the substrate, and secondary and tertiary hydrothermal treatments under conditions that favor growth along c-axes and a-axes in sequence. By adjusting corresponding synthetic conditions, an HAP this film can be grown to a controllable thickness with a dense coverage on the underlying substrate. The thin films have relatively high proton conductivity under hydrogen atmosphere and high temperature conditions. The c-axis oriented films may be integrated into fuel cells for application in the intermediate temperature range of 200-600.degree. C. The electrochemical-hydrothermal deposition technique may be applied to create other oriented crystal materials having optimized properties, useful for separations and catalysis as well as electronic and electrochemical applications, electrochemical membrane reactors, and in chemical sensors.
FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
Certain embodiments and aspects of the disclosed invention were made with government support under Contract Nos. DE-FG02-05ER15722 and DE-FC03-92SF19460 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The United States government may have certain rights in the invention.