Single crystalline In2O3 nanowires were synthesized and then utilized to construct field effect transistors (FETs) consisting of individual nanowires. Chemical sensors based on these In2O3 nanowire FETs have been demonstrated. Upon exposure to gaseous molecules such as NO2 and NH3, the electrical conductance of the In2O3 nanowire FETs are found to dramatically decrease rapidly, accompanied by substantial shifts in threshold gate voltage. Our In2O3 nanowire sensors exhibit significantly improved sensitivity, as well as shortened response times compared to most existing solid-state gas sensors. In addition, ultraviolet (UV) light is found to be able to greatly enhance the surface molecular desorption kinetics and serve as a “gas cleanser” for the In2O3 nanowire chemical sensors. It has been demonstrated that the recovery time of our devices can be shortened to ∼30 s by illuminating the devices with UV light in vacuum.