A Wireless Sensor Network based on Laser-annealed ZnO Nanostructures for Advance Monitoring in Precise Agriculture

Davide Polese, Francesco Maita, Ivano Lucarini, Antonio Ferraro, Antonio De Luca, Domenico Cannatà, Luca Maiolo

Abstract

Plants own a complex way to communicate with each other based on the exchange of chemical and electrical signals. Indeed, plants are capable of creating extensive communication networks thus warning each other of the presence of pests. In response, plants trigger natural strategy against the infestation. The main tool used by plants for exchanging information is the emission and detection of specific volatile organic compounds in air. To this end, monitoring these compounds can be crucial to reveal the state of health of a cultivation far before visual symptoms arise. In this work, we present a wireless sensor network where each node is based on highly sensitive zinc oxide nanostructures enabling the detection and the discrimination of several chemical gases such as CO, CO2, NO, NO2, CH4, etc. The response of each sensor is tuned by using excimer laser annealing procedure, a technique that changes the electrical and morphological properties of the sensing material. This wireless sensor network can be an appealing solution to capture signals coming from the plants without the usage of bulky and expensive equipment.

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