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Surface chemistry of SnO2 nanowires on Ag-catalyst-covered Si substrate studied using XPS and TDS methods

Michal Sitarz1, Monika Kwoka1*, Elisabetta Comini2, Dario Zappa2 and Jacek Szuber1

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Electronics, Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, 44-100, Poland

2 SENSOR Lab, Department of Information Engineering, Brescia University and CNR IDASC, Brescia, 25133, Italy

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:43  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-43

Published: 25 January 2014


In this paper we investigate the surface chemistry, including surface contaminations, of SnO2 nanowires deposited on Ag-covered Si substrate by vapor phase deposition (VPD), thanks to x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) in combination with thermal desorption spectroscopy (TDS). Air-exposed SnO2 nanowires are slightly non-stoichiometric, and a huge amount of C contaminations is observed at their surface. After the thermal physical desorption (TPD) process, SnO2 nanowires become almost stoichiometric without any surface C contaminations. This is probably related to the fact that C contaminations, as well as residual gases from air, are weakly bounded to the crystalline SnO2 nanowires and can be easily removed from their surface. The obtained results gave us insight on the interpretation of the aging effect of SnO2 nanowires that is of great importance for their potential application in the development of novel chemical nanosensor devices.