The development of a cathode catalyst layer based on a supported Pt catalyst using an ordered mesoporous carbon (OMC) for direct methanol fuel cell is reported. An OMC with a mesopore structure between hexagonally arranged carbon nanorods is prepared using a template method. Platinum nanoparticles are supported on the OMC(Pt/OMC) with high metal loading of 60 wt.%. Compositional and morphological variations are made by varying the ionomer content and by compressing the catalyst layer to detect a parameter that determines the power performance. Increase in power density with decrease in the volume fraction of ionomer in the agglomerate comprising the Pt/OMC and the ionomer indicates that mass transport through the ionomer phase governs the kinetics of oxygen reduction. Impedance spectroscopic analysis suggests that a significant mass-transport limitation occurs at high ionomer content and in the compressed cathode. The power density of the optimum cathode layer, which employs a Pt/OMC catalyst with a Pt loading of 2 mg cm(-2), is greater than that of a catalyst layerwith 6 mg cm(-2) Pt-black catalyst at a voltage higher than 0.4 V. This would lead to a significant reduction in the cost of the membrane electrode assembly. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.