Oscillatory Kinetics and Spatio-Temporal Self-Organization in Reactions at Solid Surfaces

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Science  20 Dec 1991:
Vol. 254, Issue 5039, pp. 1750-1755
DOI: 10.1126/science.254.5039.1750


Chemical reactions far from equilibrium on solid surfaces may exhibit typical phenomena of nonlinear dynamics, as exemplified by the catalytic oxidation of carbon monoxide on a platinum(110) single-crystal surface. Depending on the external parameters (temperature and partial pressures of the reactants), the temporal variation of the reaction rate may become oscillatory or even chaotic. In a parallel way, the concentration distributions of the adsorbed species on the surface form spatio-temporal patterns including propagating and standing waves, rotating spirals, as well as irregular and rapidly changing structures denoted "chemical turbulence."

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