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Physics  1999 

The effect of interstitial clusters and vacancies on the STM image of graphite

DOI: 10.1016/S0039-6028(00)00088-1

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Making use of the tight-binding Green's function technique, we have calculated the STM images of graphite with surface and sub-surface defects, while taking into account the relaxation of the lattice due to defects. We have demonstrated that two different physical mechanisms may result in the formation of hillocks in the STM images: buckling of the graphite surface due to interstitials between the uppermost graphite layers and the enhancement of the electron density of states close to the Fermi energy on the carbon atoms in the vicinity of vacancies. Our results indicate that small hillocks may originate both from the interstitial clusters and from the vacancies. By contrast, however, large hillocks in excess of 10 \AA~ in diameter can be caused only by interstitial clusters.


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