Highly selective and sensitive detection of trimethylamine (TMA) was achieved by the decoration of discrete p-type Cr(2)O(3) nanoparticles on n-type ZnO nanowire (NW) networks. Semielliptical Cr(2)O(3) nanoparticles with lateral widths of 3-8 nm were deposited on ZnO NWs by the thermal evaporation of CrCl(2) at 630 °C, while a continuous Cr(2)O(3) shell layer with a thickness of 30-40 nm was uniformly coated on ZnO NWs at 670 °C. The response (R(a)/R(g): R(a), resistance in air; R(g), resistance in gas) to 5 ppm TMA of Cr(2)O(3)-decorated ZnO NWs was 17.8 at 400 °C, which was 2.4 times higher than that to 5 ppm C(2)H(5)OH and 4.3-8.4 times higher than those to 5 ppm p-xylene, NH(3), benzene, C(3)H(8), toluene, CO, and H(2). In contrast, both pristine ZnO and ZnO (core)-Cr(2)O(3) (shell) nanocables (NCs) showed comparable responses to the different gases. The highly selective and sensitive detection of TMA that was achieved by the deposition of semielliptical Cr(2)O(3) nanoparticles on ZnO NW networks was explained by the catalytic effect of Cr(2)O(3) and the extension of the electron depletion layer via the formation of p-n junctions.