Reactions at Surfaces: From Atoms to Complexity (Nobel Lecture)


  • Copyright© The Nobel Foundation 2007. We thank the Nobel Foundation, Stockholm, for permission to print this lecture. Supporting information for this article is available on the WWW under or from the author.


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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.