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“Background In the last two decades, tin dioxide (SnO2) has attracted a great interest because of its potential application for resistivity-type gas sensor devices. This is related to both high electric conductivity (approximately 102 Ω-1·cm-1), compatible with standard electronics, and to the fact that the surface is chemically very active, in the presence of oxidizing and reducing gases [1–3]. Among SnO2 solid state gas sensor devices, those employing thin film technology are the most promising
in terms of gas sensing response , stability, sensitivity, Protein tyrosine phosphatase and especially compatibility with the downscaling of the electronic devices [5, 6]. However, both thick and thin film performances are limited by the extension of active surface that potentially reduces their sensitivity. Nowadays, the research is focusing on nanostructured materials, like nanowires, nanorods, nanotubes, and nanoribbons [7, 8] because they have a large surface-to-volume ratio and show enhanced chemical stability [9, 10] and electrical performances . Nanowires probably present the most interesting morphology for the fabrication of gas sensing devices, having about 30% atoms that are localized just at the surface, where the sensor transduction mechanism takes place [12, 13], and thus enhancing the sensitivity. This is why SnO2 nanowires seem to be an interesting active material for gas sensor nanometer-scaled devices. Another critical problem concerning the SnO2 thin films is the aging effect after their exposure to the surrounding atmosphere, which is related to undesired and uncontrolled adsorption of some contaminants at their surface, especially native oxide containing various C carbon species .