Institute of Spectroscopy as an establishment of the Russian Academy of Sciences is a successor of Institute of Spectroscopy of USSR Academy of Sciences. The latter was the result of the reorganization of the Commission for Spectroscopy.
The initial aim of the laboratory was to carry out separate scientific and organizational tasks of the Commission. However, the activity of the laboratory eventually went far beyond that framework. It included major research work for spectral instruments design, economic implementation of applied atomic and molecular spectroscopy, etc. The laboratory staff grew up to 44 people, its members defended 9 doctor habilitation (second doctor degree) theses, published 160 research papers and a number of monographs. Significant scientific and practical results appeared. Actually the Commission for Spectroscopy laboratory grew to be a separate academic institution with top qualification specialists.
In 1967 the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences adopted a decision on the feasibility of the reorganization of the Commission for Spectroscopy laboratory into Institute of Spectroscopy. The Institute was to become a leading institution in the field of spectroscopy in the USSR. Soon the decision to create the Institute got approval from the State Committee for Science and Technology, and on November 29, 1968 the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences issued the decree for the reorganization. At the suggestion Academician L.A. Artsimovich, the Institute was situated in Red Pakhra area, where Institute of Earth Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radiowaves Propagation and Institute for High Pressure Physics already existed.
Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Professor Sergey L. Mandelstam, later Corresponding Member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, became the organizer, the first director and the ideologist of scientific research directions of the Institute. The first members of the Institute were S.A. Uholin, H.E .Sterin, G.N. Zhizhin, V.B. Belyanin, Ya.M. Kimelfeld, E.Ya. Kononov, A.N. Ryabtsev, M.P. Aliyev, S.N .Murzin, who came to the Institute from the Commission for Spectroscopy laboratory. After them came V.G. Koloshnikov, B.D. Osipov from Lebedev Physical Institute; R.I. Personov from Moscow Pedagogical State University; V.M. Agranovich from Obninsk “science city”. In 1970, S.L. Mandelshtam invited V.S. Letokhov to the position of Deputy Director for Science, who brought R.V. Ambartsumyan, O.N. Kompanets, O.A. Tumanov from Lebedev Physical Institute with him. S.G.Rautian and A.M.Shalagin worked at the Institute from 1971 till 1977. The involvement of young well-known scientists made it possible to create a highly skilled research team quickly. This team became the nucleus of the institute. At the same time, young talented graduates of Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology joined the staff of the Institute to occupy key positions in the Institute in the following years and to become worldwide known scientists.
According to Mandelstam’s conception, the number of Institute workers was to be less than 300-400 people. Laboratories with a relatively small number of people allowed their directors to devote more time to research rather than to administrative work and to readily change the research area when required.
Over the last 45 years, Institute of Spectroscopy has moved to the fore among the scientific establishments working in the area of optics and spectroscopy in this country and abroad. Entire scientific fields have emerged within the Institute and have been developed further on:
- Laser cooling and neutral atom optics;
- Laser isotope separation and laser femtochemistry;
- Laser spectroscopy of spectral superresolution and optical frequency standarts on its basis;
- Laser spectroscopy of spatial superresolution, nanopotics and nanophotonics;
- Ultrasensitive laser methods for trace quantities detection of elements and impurities in high-purified substances and environmental objects;
- Laser selective spectroscopy of doped organic condensed matter;
- Spectroscopy and optical diagnostics of ultrathin films;
- Optico-spectral and spectral-analytical engineering for the aims of material science, metallurgy, geology, ecology, medicine, food industry and research work.
In 2001, Center of Joint Researches «Optical-Spectral Researches» was established on the basis of the unique equipment of the Institute. Its main purpose is to provide opportunities for research reams to carry out a broad range of optico-spectroscopic studies at a high scientific level with modern equipment. Currently the centre of joint research includes the equipment of 7 laboratories of the Institute. More than 40 Russian and foreign institutes are annually engaged there into joint research activities.
Starting from 2008, Research and Education Center «Broadband spectroscopy for advanced materials» has been functioning at the Institute. It coordinates the educational activity in top-qualification scientific personnel training (the work of base department «Nanooptics and spectroscopy» (former Chair of “Quantum Optics”) of Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (State University), student and trainee administration, postgraduate education and cooperation with domestic and foreign universities.
The high level of scientific staff training by a leading scientific school «Spectroscopy of atoms, molecules and condensed matter» headed by RAS Corresponding Member Evgeniy A. Vinogradov has been commemorated and supported by the Grant of the President of Russia.
At this time the number of the Institute staff is about 200 people, half of them are researchers, among them ~45 Candidates of sciences (PhD equivalent) and ~25 Doctors of phys.-math. sciences (full professor equivalent). The director of the Institute is (since 1989) RAS Corr. Member, Prof. E.A. Vinogradov.