Potential Application of Organic Electronics in Electrical Sensing of Insects and Integrated Pest Management towards Developing Ecofriendly Replacements for Chemical Insecticides

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


Synthetic insecticides are widely used against plant pest insects to protect the crops. However, many insecticides have poor selectivity and are toxic also to beneficial insects, animals, and humans. In addition, insecticide residues can remain on fruits for many days, jeopardizing food safety. For these reasons, a reusable, low-cost electronic trap that can attract, detect, and identify, but attack only the pest while leaving beneficial insects unharmed could provide a sustainable, nature-friendly replacement. Here, for the first time, research results are presented suggesting the great potential and compatibility of organic electronic devices and technologies with pest management. Electrical characterizations confirm that an insect's body has relatively high dielectric permittivity. Adaptive memcapacitor circuits can track the impedance change for insect detection. Other experiments show that printed polymer piezoelectric transducers on a plastic substrate can collect information about the weight and activity of insects for identification. The breakdown voltage of most insects´ integument is measured to be <200 V. Long channel organic transistors easily work at such high voltages while being safe to touch for humans thanks to their inherent low current. This feasibility study paves the way for the future development of organic electronics for physical pest control and biodiversity protection.


Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvanced science
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2023

External IDs

Scopus 85175977613
ORCID /0000-0002-4230-8228/work/146644970
Mendeley 9f20eb29-6860-3e26-ab74-3dcf9057f97c


Research priority areas of TU Dresden

DFG Classification of Subject Areas according to Review Boards

Sustainable Development Goals


  • bioelectronic sensors, nature conservation, organic field effect transistors (OFET), pesticides, printed flexible electronics