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30 April 2009 Detecting insect infestation with poly3-hexylthiophenethin thin film sensor
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The financial losses and destruction of crops due to insect infestation in the United States are estimated by the USDA to exceed 20 billion dollars annually. Much of these losses could be avoided by having a sensor that could effectively identify the early stages of insect infestation. However, traditional detection methods are time consuming, require trained personnel, and are not sufficient for early detection. Several previous research studies showed that emitting organic volatile compounds is a defensive mechanism activated by some plant species after being attacked by herbivores and parasites. Corn, cotton, pine, Brussels sprouts when attacked by Beet army worm, spider mites, bark beetles and caterpillars respectively, emits different blends of plant volatiles including γ-terpinene, α-pinene, p-cymene, farnesene, limonene and cis-hexenyl acetate, with a concentration of about 50 ppm. Therefore, monitoring for these volatile compounds may enable on-site early detection of insect infestations. In this study, a chemical resistor sensor to detect plant volatiles was designed and fabricated. The sensor platform consists of micro electronically fabricated interdigitated electrodes. On to this platform, a poly3-hexylthiophene (P3HT) thin film was deposited, using a spin coater at 8000 rpm for 30 seconds. The sensor was tested and found to be sensitive to a variety of plant volatiles, including γ-terpinene, α-pinene, p-cymene, farnesene, limonene and cis-hexenyl acetate at room temperature. These vapors interacted with the P3HT film causing an increase in the resistance of the sensor by more than one order of magnitude
© (2009) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Kanchana Weerakoon, Suiquing Li, Hungjen J. Shu, and Bryan A. Chin "Detecting insect infestation with poly3-hexylthiophenethin thin film sensor", Proc. SPIE 7312, Advanced Environmental, Chemical, and Biological Sensing Technologies VI, 73120X (30 April 2009);


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