Organized by ITMO University’s Faculty of Physics and Engineering, METANANO is an annual international conference which provides a showcase for the latest research in such fields as metamaterials, nanophotonics, and optical engineering. Among the conference’s partners are Mediterranean Institute of Fundamental Physics (MIFP), Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Far Eastern Federal University, as well as the Neaspec and InScience companies.
The conference was first held in Anapa in 2016. About 90 Russian scientists presented their research. The second METANANO conference took place in Vladivostok and brought together 250 participants, while the percentage of international scientists exceeded 40%. According to Polina Kapitanova, chairman of the conference program committee and a staff member of ITMO’s Faculty of Physics and Engineering, each year, the event is becoming more and more popular. This year, 380 scientists from Europe, the USA, Australia, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia took part in the conference.
Among this year’s participants are Prof. Sven Hoefling from the University of Wuerzburg and the University of St. Andrews, who will present his research on quantum dot single photon sources for quantum technologies, Prof. Javier Garsia De Abajo from Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies, who will share the results of his research on exploring and exploiting optical modes at the atomic scale, and Prof. Andre Geim from the University of Manchester, a 2010 Nobel Prize winner in physics, who will talk about the latest research in the field of 2D heterostructures, among others.
Among the first speakers was Prof. Stefan Maier from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, who presented his research on charge transfer in nanoplasmonics. According to the speaker, METANANO is a great platform for discussing the results of one’s projects in a casual setting.
“This is my second time taking part in conferences in Russia. The first one was a few years ago in St. Petersburg, but it was completely different from what I see here. There are many students and young scientists here, and the atmosphere is very friendly and welcoming,” comments Prof. Maier.
What is also special about the conference is its mixed format. Apart from the main sections, there are nine additional sections, organized together with ITMO’s educational and research partners.
“We owe this year’s success to our colleagues. The conference is organized by ITMO University’s International Research Center of Nanophotonics and Metamaterials in collaboration with our research partners from all over the world working at the forefront of science. The nine sections were organized by our partners from Germany, the USA, and Australia. One section is coordinated by Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, while the MRI section is supported by the M-Cube international consortium, a Horizon 2020 grant awardee. The METANANO 2018 Conference covers a wide range of fields from nanophotonics and nanoplasmonics, to new materials, etc.,” shares Polina Kapitanova.
According to Pavel Belov, head of the conference program committee, Dean of ITMO’s Faculty of Physics and Engineering, and Head of International Research Center of Nanophotonics and Metamaterials, one of the conference’s purposes is to maintain the established relationships, as well as lay the foundation for new collaborations and partnerships.
“This conference serves as a platform for active science communication; it offers its participants the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience. The setting here is very informal: people can communicate with each other any time they like, discuss problems they are working on, establish new contacts. First of all, our goal is to facilitate the communication between Russian and international researchers,” says Pavel Belov.
Apart from science talks, there are many other interesting things on the conference agenda, for example a bike ride which will kick off on September 19, on the same day as the bike ride with ITMO University Rector in St. Petersburg.