The electrical properties of tin oxide varistors doped with CoO, Nb2O5, and Cr2O3, were investigated using the impedance spectroscopy technique with the temperature ranging from 25 to 400 °C. The impedance data, represented by means of Nyquist diagrams, show two time constants with different activation energies, one at low frequencies and the other at high frequencies. These activation energies were associated with the adsorption and reaction of O2 species at the grain boundary interface. The Arrhenius plots show two slopes with a turnover at 200 °C for both the higher and lower frequency time constants. This behavior can be related with the decrease of minor charge carrier density. The barrier formation mechanism was associated with the presence of CrSn at the surface, which promotes the adsorption of the O and O species which are in turn proposed as being responsible for the barrier formation.

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