We consider the effect of a finite voltage bias on the conductance of single-atom gold contacts. We employ a nonorthogonal spn-tight-binding Hamiltonian combined with a local charge neutrality assumption. The conductance and charge distributions for finite bias are calculated using the nonequilibrium-Green-function formalism. We calculate the voltage drop through the contacts and find the main drop located near the negative electrode. We argue that this is due to the filled d-state resonances. The conduction is analyzed in terms of transmission eigenchannels and density of states of the eigenchannels projected onto tight-binding orbitals. We find a single almost fully transmitting channel with mainly s character for low bias while for high bias this channel becomes less transmitting and additional channels involving only d orbitals start to conduct.
Physical Review B (condensed Matter and Materials Physics), 1999, Vol 60, Issue 24, p. 17064-17070