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Keywords:

  • ammonia synthesis;
  • carbon monoxide;
  • Nobel lecture;
  • oscillating reactions;
  • surface chemistry
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The spatio–temporal formation of patterns on the surface during a chemical reaction is one phenomenon that can now be understood and modeled thanks to the Nobel Prize winning research on the course of heterogeneous catalysis. The picture shows a pattern formed by a feedback mechanism during the oxidation of CO. Reactions that have been illuminated by this work include the synthesis of ammonia and the purification of waste gases.