Turing-Type Patterns on Electrode Surfaces

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  23 Mar 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5512, pp. 2395-2398
DOI: 10.1126/science.1057830

You are currently viewing the abstract.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


We report stationary, nonequilibrium potential and adsorbate patterns with an intrinsic wavelength that were observed in an electrochemical system with a specific type of current/electrode-potential (I-φDL) characteristic. The patterns emerge owing to the interplay of a self-enhancing step in the reaction dynamics and a long-range inhibition by migration currents rather than by diffusion. Theoretical analysis revealed that this self-structuring of the electrode occurs in all electrochemical systems with an S-shapedI-φDL characteristic in wide and well-accessible parameter ranges. This unusual pattern-forming instability in electrochemical systems has all the characteristics of the mechanism proposed by Turing in 1952 in the framework of an early theory of morphogenesis. Our finding might account for structure formation in certain biological systems that have gradients in the electric potential and may open new paths for fabricating patterned electrodes.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: krischer{at}

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science