A novel sol-gel processing route has been developed for the production of tellurium oxide (TeO2) and tellurium suboxide (TeOx) thin films. The process has been used to deposit thin films on glass substrates by the dip coating process. These films have been shown to undergo thermally induced, reversible changes in optical properties on heating at appropriate temperatures. Formation of TeOx was found to occur at low temperatures by direct breakdown of the sol-gel derived material even in the absence of reducing agents whilst the principal optical effects corresponded to the formation of TeOx and α-TeO2 at temperatures of <200 °C and <450 °C respectively. The relatively low temperatures required to induce significant optical effects are comparable with conventionally prepared TeOx and offer the potential application of these materials in optical data storage systems.