Phenomenologically, a semiconductor–metal transition is characterized by a sudden change in electrical properties but also in optical behaviours, as a consequence of a change in electron behaviour. The ability to induce a reversible semiconductor–metal transition in a material by varying conditions such as applied temperature or electrical field, results in attractive changes in properties that have fuelled the curiosity of scientists. In this paper, we discuss the interest of such materials exhibiting the reversible semiconductor–metal transition in the development of the next generation of optical Bly-ray discs (BD), the so-called super-resolution near field structure (super-RENS) discs and we show that InSb semiconductor material exhibits huge variations of its optical properties during the optically (thermally)-induced solid-to-liquid change corresponding to a semiconductor–metal transition. First success in the video playback on HDTV (High Definition TeleVision) display from 50 GB (BD capacity ×2) InSb-based super-RENS-ROM discs including a high definition video content with 1920 × 1080 pixels was realized in September 2009 by the super-RENS consortium joining three partners: AIST (National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology), Mitsubishi Electric Co. and LETI.
Snapshot of high definition video content from InSb-based super-RENS-ROM disc corresponding to 50 GB per layer (BD capacity ×2) displayed on HDTV.