The development relies on the same process that turns water into ice cubes in your freezer. Many substances undergo changes in structure when they change temperature, such as going from solid to liquid, or crystalline to non-crystalline. These phase-change materials are currently used for a wide range of applications, from computer memory and rewritable DVDs to advanced forms of home insulation.
The team, led by Professor Harish Bhaskaran, was exploring other uses of phase-change materials like germanium antimony tellurium (GST), when they realized they might be able to use them to produce a colour display.
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