Development of Tetrapod Zinc Oxide-Based UV Sensor for Precision Livestock Farming and Productivity

Abbey Knoepfel, Na Liu, Yuchen Hou, Sathya Sujani, Barbara Roqueto dos Reis, Robin White, Kai Wang, Bed Poudel, Sanju Gupta, Shashank Priya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In order to ensure the health and welfare of livestock, there has been an emphasis on precision farming of ruminant animals. Monitoring the life index of ruminant animals is of importance for intelligent farming. Here, a wearable sensor for monitoring ultraviolet (UV) radiation is demonstrated to understand the effect of primary and secondary photosensitization on dairy animals. Thin films of wide bandgap semiconductor zinc oxide (ZnO) comprising multilevel of nanostructures from microparticles (MP) to nanoparticles (NP), and tetrapod (T–ZnO), were prepared as the UV sensing active materials. The sensitivity was evaluated by exposing the films to various radiation sources, i.e., 365 nm (UV A), 302 nm (UV B), and 254 nm (UV C), and measuring the electrical resistance change. T–ZnO is found to exhibit higher sensitivity and stable response (on/off) upon exposure to UV A and UV B radiation, which is attributed to their higher surface area, aspect ratio, porosity, and interconnective networks inducing a high density of chemical interaction sites and consequently improved photocurrent generation. A wearable sensor using T–ZnO is packaged and attached to a collar for dynamic monitoring of UV response on ruminant animals (e.g., sheep in this study). The excellent performance of T–ZnO wearable sensors for ruminant animals also holds the potential for a wider range of applications such as residential buildings and public spaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number837
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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