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Tin dioxide

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Tin oxide microsensor used for fire detection
A glaze containing tin oxide sealed the clay body and provided an opaque white base for decoration
Tin dioxide

Tin dioxide, also known as stannic oxide or tin(IV) oxide, is a chemical compound with a chemical formula of SnO2. It is a white solid that does not dissolve in water and hardly dissolves in acids. It is made when tin or tin(II) oxide burns in air. It is a major part of cassiterite, the main tin ore.[1] It is used to make ceramic glazes more opaque. It is more common than tin(II) oxide. It is used in brake pads, polishers, touchscreens, gas detectors (in some carbon monoxide detectors), targets in sputtering, and electrodes used in molten glass. There are two hydrated forms of tin dioxide that have special properties. They are called alphastannic acid and metastannic acid. Alphastannic acid is granular while metastannic acid is porous. Metastannic acid is used in the ceramics.[2] Tin dioxide can be doped to make it detect gases such as carbon monoxide better.


  1. Tin dioxide Wikipedia, Accessed 10 July 2010.
  2. Keeling & Walker - World Leader in Tin Oxide Accessed 10 July 2010.

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