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[en] The g-C3N4 nanosheets decorated three-dimensional (3D) hierarchical flower-like SnO2 nanocomposites were synthesized via a facile hydrothermal method by using the g-C3N4 and SnCl2·2H2O as the precursors. The structure and morphology of the as-synthesized samples were characterized by the X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), electron microscopy (FESEM and TEM), N2 sorption, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FT-IR) techniques. It is supposed that g-C3N4 nanosheets act as a template in the hydrothermal process, accelerating the preferential growth of SnO2 nanocrystals and preventing the agglomeration of the SnO2 nanoparticles. The gas sensing performances of the as-synthesized samples to ethanol vapor were tested, and the response of the sensor based on 3 wt.% g-C3N4 decorated SnO2 composite to 500 ppm ethanol vapor was 360 at 300 °C, which was much higher than that of pure flower-like SnO2 based sensor. The improved ethanol gas sensing property is proposed to relate to the good conductivity of g-C3N4, high specific surface area and interactions between g-C3N4 and SnO2. - Highlights: • Flower-like SnO2/g-C3N4 composite has been developed. • Flower-like SnO2 were coupled by a lamellar structure 2D g-C3N4. • The as-prepared composites possess much higher response of ethanol than pure SnO2. • Flower-like SnO2/g-C3N4 composite will be an ideal candidate for ethanol gas sensor application.