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Surface state reconstruction in ion-damaged SmB6


We have used ion irradiation to damage the (001) surfaces of SmB6 single crystals to varying depths, and have measured the resistivity as a function of temperature for each depth of damage. We observe a reduction in the residual resistivity with increasing depth of damage. Our data are consistent with a model in which the surface state is not destroyed by the ion irradiation, but instead the damaged layer is poorly conducting and the initial surface state is reconstructed below the damage. This behavior is consistent with a surface state that is topologically protected.

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