Gold adatoms and dimers on relaxed graphite surfaces

The interaction of deposited gold adatoms and dimers with multilayer relaxed graphite surfaces is investigated through a density functional approach with numerical orbitals and a relativistic core pseudopotential. The energy landscape for a gold adatom along [110] agrees with scanning tunneling microscopy observations including the preferred β binding site for adatoms and the mobility difference between silver and gold adatoms. Deposited particles are shown to induce surface deformation and polarization. Static relaxation and dynamic simulations indicate that the energetically preferred binding orientation for a gold dimer is normal rather than parallel to the graphite surface. The dimer response to a simulated scanning tunneling microscopy tip is investigated by molecular dynamics simulations.