Sintering SnO(2) powder in air or under an oxygen atmosphere at different temperatures, leads to polycrystalline samples with nanostructured surface as revealed by atomic force microscopy (AFM). The thermal treatments are also responsible for the variation of the surface electrical properties, as studied by scanning spreading resistance microscopy (SSRM) and scanning tunnelling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM-STS). The surface presents a p-conductance, contrary to the n-type characteristic of the bulk, and a band gap lower than the bulk band gap (3.6 eV). The electrical behaviour at the grain boundaries and the role of oxygen are discussed. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) results show a higher presence of oxygen at the boundaries, which generates a shift of the Fermi level position (E(F)-E(V)) towards lower energies
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