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Method of fabricating electrode catalyst layers with directionally oriented carbon support for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (ANL-IN-05-020) and (ANL-IN-05-020B)

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.