The term "optoelectronics" came into use in the late 60s of the last century to denote the field of physics and engineering related to the effects of the mutual conversion of electrical and optical signals. This happened after devices providing such transformations began to be widely used in the display, storage, transmission, and processing of information.
The time of the creation of the department coincided with the period of intensive development of information technologies based on the achievements of electronics and optoelectronics. There was a need for physicists familiar with modern methods of manufacturing and research of optoelectronic devices and integrated devices, possessing the latest equipment used for the synthesis of new ultrapure materials and compounds, growth of structures of reduced dimensionality, and their characterization.
By the time the Department of Optoelectronics was established, the Faculty of Physics and Technology was one of the world's leaders in the field of semiconductor physics in terms of scientific potential and technical equipment. With the creation of the department, the Ioffe Institute began training physics engineers specializing in optical and quantum micro- and nanoelectronics.
First of all, the department was created to overcome the gap between the university bench and the modern physics laboratory and use the full power of the scientific school of the leading academic institute.
More than 160 graduates of the department now work at the Ioffe Institute, and several dozens of them work successfully in leading scientific companies and universities abroad: in France, the UK, the USA, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Japan, China, South Korea, Canada, and others.