The nucleation of spiral waves at a surface defect during catalytic CO oxidation on Pt(110) was studied with a low energy electron microscope system. It was found that reaction fronts originate from a boundary layer between the defect and the surrounding Pt(110) area. The findings were corroborated by numerical simulations within a realistic reaction-diffusion model of the surface reaction.

Nucleation of Spiral Wave Patterns at Surface Defects. H.Wei, G.Lilienkamp, J.Davidsen, M.Bär, R.Imbihl: Physical Review E, 2006, 73[1], 016210 (4pp)