Europhys. Lett.
Volume 73, Number 6, March 2006
Page(s) 820 - 825
Section General
Published online 17 February 2006
Europhys. Lett., 73 (6), pp. 820-825 (2006)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10492-4

Fluctuation-induced pattern formation in a surface reaction

J. Starke1, C. Reichert1, M. Eiswirth2, H. H. Rotermund2 and G. Ertl2

1  Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Wissenschaftliches Rechnen und Institut für Angewandte Mathematik, Universität Heidelberg Im Neuenheimer Feld 294, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany
2  Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft Faradayweg 4-6, D-14195 Berlin, Germany

received 11 November 2005; accepted in final form 31 January 2006
published online 17 February 2006

Spontaneous nucleation, pulse formation and propagation failure have been observed experimentally in $\chem{CO}$ oxidation on Pt(110) at intermediate pressures ( $\approx {10^{-2}}$ mbar). This phenomenon can be reproduced with a stochastic model that includes temperature effects. Nucleation occurs randomly due to fluctuations in the reaction processes, whereas the subsequent damping out essentially follows the deterministic path. Conditions for the occurence of stochastic effects in the pattern formation during $\chem{CO}$ oxidation on Pt are discussed.

05.40.-a - Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion.
82.40.Np - Temporal and spatial patterns in surface reactions.
89.75.-k - Complex systems.

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