Multifunctional Stretchable Sensors for Continuous Monitoring of Long-Term Leaf Physiology and Microclimate

Yicong Zhao, Shenghan Gao, Jia Zhu, Jiameng Li, Hang Xu, Kexin Xu, Huanyu Cheng, Xian Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Communication with plants to understand their growth mechanisms and interaction with the surrounding environment may improve production yield in agriculture and facilitate prevention of plant diseases and negative influence of environmental stress. Typical sensing technologies in plant biology and precision agriculture largely rely on techniques with low spatial and temporal resolutions, and fail to continuously and precisely determine localized variation in leaf physiology and microenvironments. Here, techniques to develop a multifunctional stretchable leaf-mounted sensor have been developed to offer optimized adaptability to plant growth and monitor leaf physiological and environmental conditions in continuous and highly sensitive manners. The multifunctional leaf sensor contains multiple heterogeneous sensing elements made of metal, carbon nanotube matrix, and silicon, leading to temperature, hydration, light illuminance, and strain sensing capabilities on a leaf. Evaluation under a controlled environment indicates excellent precision and accuracy of the sensor compared to conventional devices. Furthermore, indoor and outdoor experiments have demonstrated the multifunctional monitoring ability of the sensor in real situations. The multifunctional stretchable sensor holds the promise to advance monitoring techniques in plant biology and precision agriculture, resulting in improved capability to record slow and subtle physiological changes in plants and plant/environment interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9522-9530
Number of pages9
JournalACS Omega
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 30 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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