, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 255-264
Date: 11 Jun 2009

Evaluation of leaf water status by means of permittivity at terahertz frequencies

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We present an electromagnetic model of plant leaves which describes their permittivity at terahertz frequencies. The complex permittivity is investigated as a function of the water content of the leaf. Our measurements on coffee leaves (Coffea arabica L.) demonstrate that the dielectric material parameters can be employed to determine the leaf water status and, therefore, to monitor drought stress in plant leaves. The electromagnetic model consists of an effective medium theory, which is implemented by a third order extension of the Landau, Lifshitz, Looyenga model. The influence of scattering becomes important at higher frequencies and is modeled by a Rayleigh roughness factor.