An electrode-membrane combination for use in a fuel cell comprising at least one reactant diffusive, electronically conductive electrode comprising at least one first catalytically active metal and at least one ionically conductive polymer; and at least one ionically conductive membrane contacting the electrode to form an electrode-membrane interfacial region, wherein the interfacial region comprises at least one zone comprising at least one second catalytically active metal and having a zone thickness of about 3 angstroms to about 475 angstroms. Surprisingly improved power output is observed. The zone is preferably deposited by electron beam physical vapor deposition. Substantially spherical nodules are observed for the zone from field-emission SEM analysis.
Carlos A. Cavalca; James H. Arps