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Journal Article

Temporal and spatial self-organisation in catalysis at single crystal surfaces


Ertl,  Gerhard
Physical Chemistry, Fritz Haber Institute, Max Planck Society;

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Ertl, G. (1991). Temporal and spatial self-organisation in catalysis at single crystal surfaces. Catalysis Letters, 9, 219-230. doi:10.1007/BF00773180.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-2913-3
The elementary steps underlying the mechanism of a catalytic reaction are also responsible for its rate under steady-state conditions. In special cases the rate will no longer be stationary, but may become oscillatory or even chaotic. These phenomena have to be ascribed to the nonlinear character of the coupled differential equations modelling the temporal behavior of the surface concentrations of the reacting species. As a consequence, these concentrations may also exhibit spatial differences, even on ana priori uniform single crystal surface, leading to spatiotemporal patterns such as propagating and standing waves as well as ‘chemical’ turbulence. Experimental evidence for these effects is presented for a particular system, the oxidation of CO on a Pt(110) surface.