All-polymer based polymorph skin with controllable surface texture

Natanael Bolson, Devendra Singh, Vinicius Lube, Gilles Lubineau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Smart skins are integrating an increasing number of functionalities to improve the interactions between the equipped systems (robots or artificial systems) and their ambient environment. Here, we introduce a controllable texture as a new functionality, based on an innovative soft technology that leverages the strong electro-mechanical coupling of our all-polymer design, which can be easily embedded to a wide range of systems. The device comprises a polymer-based heating element [doped PEDOT:PSS (poly-(3,4 ethylenedioxythiophene): poly (styrene sulfonic acid))], a polymer-based soft actuator (Ecoflex 00-50/ethanol) and a polymer-based casing [PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane)]. We introduce a smart pipe prototype module and use our controllable polymorph skin to tailor the interaction between the pipe and the fluid. This allows us to obtain a 50% reduction of the friction coefficient in turbulent regime, between non-actuated and actuated configurations. This concept may find applications in engineering fields such as smart skin-based touch control and controllable friction coefficients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number075011
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 21 2019


  • Conducting polymer
  • Controllable texture
  • Drag
  • E-skin
  • Flexible electronics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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