Phase-change materials are successfully employed in optical data storage and are becoming a promising candidate for future electronic storage applications. Despite the increasing technological interest, many fundamental properties of these materials remain poorly understood. However, in the last few years the understanding of the material properties of phase-change materials has increased significantly. At the same time, great advances have been achieved in technological applications in electronic as well as optical data storage. We review the latest scientific and technological developments in the field, focusing on the electronic, optical, and kinetic properties of phase-change materials.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(08)70118-4