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Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2010 Apr 21;12(15):3656-65. doi: 10.1039/b919278f. Epub 2010 Feb 23.

Patterns in the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction in water-in-oil microemulsion induced by a temperature gradient.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Volen Center for Complex Systems, MS 015, Brandeis University, Waltham, 02454-9110, USA.


We investigate the effect of changing temperature in the ferroin-catalysed Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction dispersed in the water nanodroplets of a water-in-oil aerosol OT (AOT) microemulsion, which undergoes a temperature-induced percolation transition at about 38 degrees C. We observe stationary Turing patterns at temperatures in the range 15-35 degrees C and bulk oscillations at T = 40-55 degrees C. When a temperature gradient DeltaT is applied normal to a thin layer of the BZ-AOT reaction mixture, the range of patterns observed is dramatically expanded. Anti-phase oscillatory Turing patterns, leaping waves, and chaotic waves emerge, depending on the temperature gradient and the average temperature. These new patterns originate from the coupling between a low temperature Turing mode and a high temperature Hopf mode. Simulations with a simple model of the BZ-AOT system give good agreement with our experimental results.

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