Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) continue to show strong promise as the channel material for an aggressively scaled, high-performance transistor technology. However, there has been concern regarding the contact resistance (Rc) in CNT field-effect transistors (CNTFETs) limiting the ultimate performance, especially at scaled contact lengths. In this work, the contact resistance in CNTFETs is defined in the context of a high-performance scaled transistor, including how the demonstrated Rc relates to technology targets. The impact of different source/drain contact metals (Pd, Pt, Au, Rh, Ni, and Ti) on the scaling of Rc versus contact length is presented. It is discovered that the most optimal contact metal at long contact lengths (Pd) is not necessarily the best for scaled devices, where a newly explored scaled metal contact, Rh, yields the best scaling trend. When extrapolated for a sub-10 nm transistor technology, these results show that the Rc in scaled CNTFETs is within a factor of 2 of the technology target with much potential for improvement through enhanced understanding and engineering of transport at the metal-CNT interface. © 2014 American Chemical Society.