Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Materials science

Changing face of the chameleon

Chalcogenide materials form the basis of CD and DVD technologies. But an identity crisis looms in the wider field: what role do atomic reconfiguration, electronic processes and ionic movement play in these materials?

Your institute does not have access to this article

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Two types of chalcogenide device.


  1. *European Symposium on Phase Change and Ovonic Science, Cambridge, 3–6 September 2005;

  2. Symposium on Memory Storage Materials. European Congress on Advanced Materials and Processes, 5–8 September 2005;


  1. Ovshinsky, S. R. Phys. Rev. Lett. 21, 1450–1453 (1968).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Mott, N. F. in Nobel Lectures, Physics 1971–1980 (ed. Lundqvist, S.) 403–413 (World Scientific, Singapore, 1992);

    Google Scholar 

  3. Adler, D. et al. J. Appl. Phys. 51, 3289–3309 (1980).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Vezzoli, G. C., Walsh, P. J. & Doremus, L. W. J. Non-Cryst. Solids 18, 333–375 (1975).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Strand, D. J. Optoelectron. Adv. Mater. 7, 1679–1690 (2005).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Lankhorst, M. H. R. et al. Nature Mater. 4, 347–352 (2005).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Gibson, G. A. et al. Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 051902 (2005).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Ovshinsky, S. R. Jpn J. Appl. Phys. Pt 1 43 (7B), 4695–4699 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Terabe, K. et al. Nature 433, 47–50 (2005).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Kozicki, M. N., Park, M. & Mitkova, M. IEEE Trans. Nanotechnol. 4, 331–338 (2005).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Greer, A., Mathur, N. Changing face of the chameleon. Nature 437, 1246–1247 (2005).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing