Spatial Pattern Formation in a Catalytic Surface Reaction: the Faceting of Pt(110) in CO + O2

  • R. Imbihl
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 244)


The term “dissipative structures” which was introduced by Prigogihe [17] describes a broad class of non-equilibrium systems where a constant flow of energy and/or matter leads to structures ordered in space or time, e.g. causes kinetic oscillations or spatial pattern formation. Temporal oscillations and spatial pattern formation are closely related since the same kinetic instabilities which lead to a periodic variation of the system variables in time may also induce a periodic variation in space. Consequently one often observes spatio-temporal structures, but one may also consider the case of a non-equilibrium structure which is only periodic in space. Such structures which rarely have been observed in chemical reaction systems were first discussed by Turing [20] and have been termed accordingly as “Turing structures”.


Phase Transition Scan Tunnelling Microscopy Image Facet Surface Lateral Periodicity Facet Process 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Imbihl
    • 1
  1. 1.Fritz-Haber InstitutMax-Planck-GesellschaftBerlin 33West Germany

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