npj Quantum Materials

Unconventional resistivity scaling in topological semimetal CoSi

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Nontrivial band topologies in semimetals lead to robust surface states that can contribute dominantly to the total conduction. This may result in reduced resistivity with decreasing feature size contrary to conventional metals, which may highly impact the semiconductor industry. Here we study the resistivity scaling of a representative topological semimetal CoSi using realistic band structures and Green’s function methods. We show that there exists a critical thickness dc dividing different scaling trends. Above dc, when the defect density is low such that surface conduction dominates, resistivity reduces with decreasing thickness; when the defect density is high such that bulk conduction dominates, resistivity increases as in conventional metals. Below dc where bulk states are depopulated, the persistent Fermi-arc remnant states give rise to decreasing resistivity down to the ultrathin limit, unlike topological insulators. The observed CoSi scaling can apply to broad classes of topological semimetals, providing guidelines for materials screening in back-end-of-line interconnect applications.