The history of S.I. Vavilov State Optical Institute (SOI) dates back to December 1918. In the shortest possible time, a group of SOI scientists under the leadership of Academician D.S. Rozhdestvensky developed the physicochemical approaches of the complex process of optical glassmaking. This allowed the USSR to become independent of purchases of optical glass from abroad from the beginning of 1927.
In SOI, research and development of compositions and technology for glass production was carried out under the leadership of Academician I.V. Grebenshchikov. After his death in 1953, the department was headed by Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences A.I. Stozharov, and since 1966 - the future Academician G.T. Petrovsky.
In 1969, due to the increase in the volume of work and the number of employees, the materials science laboratories of the institute were transformed into the 1st branch of the SOI, the director of which was G.T. Petrovsky.
The glass scientists of SOI have developed domestic catalogs of optical (more than 70 brands) and radiation-resistant (more than 60 brands) glasses, which make it possible to develop diagrams of complex optical lenses that form and transmit an image without chromatic and other aberrations.
Since the 60s-70s of the last century, the research topics of scientists and technologists of the institute have been supplemented by a development of optical crystals. A special building was built to accommodate laboratories and manufacturing facilities for the production of ruby single crystals, fluoride crystals, yttrium aluminum garnet, leucosapphire, laser and scintillating crystals.
In the 70s, the institute launched research and development studies in the field of fiber optics. Such outstanding scientists as doctors of technical sciences V.B. Veinberg, D.K. Sattarov, professor Yu.N. Kondratyev, candidates of technical sciences V.Kh. Yagmurov and G.Ya. Kanaeva stood at their origins. Fibers for optical communication, radiation-resistant fibers, fibers for transformation of laser radiation, photonic-crystal fiber materials - this is the list of materials whose properties are currently being optimized by researches and technologists of the "Fiber" scientific department.
When SOI became a part of the State Corporation "Rostec", it got the opportunity to renovate the instruments and technical equipment. Scientists of the institute continue research studies, publish articles in scientific journals, participate in national and international conferences, deliver lectures in universities of St. Petersburg. Among them, there are members of dissertation committees.