Stochastic model calculation for the carbon monoxide oxidation on iridium(111) surfaces

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We study the effect of external noise on the catalytic oxidation of CO on an Iridium(111) single crystal under ultrahigh vacuum conditions. This reaction can be considered as a model of catalysis used in industry. In the absence of noise the reaction exhibits one or two stable stationary states, depending on control parameters such as temperature and partial pressures. When noise is added, for instance, by randomly varying the quality of the influx mixture, the system exhibits stochastic reaction rate and switching. In this work, we present two approaches: one for the monostable regime, and another for the bistable situation that relies on a white noise approximation. Both approaches rest on the assumption that spatial patterns of coverage on the Iridium plate can be neglected on a first approximation. Using mathematical models, it is possible to reconstruct stationary probability distribution functions that match experimental observations and provide support for the existence of a thermodynamic potential.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3461-3472
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • Bistability
  • Noise
  • Stochastic differential equations
  • Surface reactions

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