METANANO-2019: World’s Top Scientists to Celebrate 10th Anniversary of Center of Nanophotonics and Metamaterials in St. Petersburg

METANANO-2019, the fourth conference on nanophotonics and metamaterials, will take place on July 15-19, 2019 in St. Petersburg. Scientists from MIT, ParisTech, and other major scientific centers of the world will discuss the latest advances in science. Each year, the METANANO conference grows in popularity thanks to its expansive range of subjects and a discussion program that’s updated every year in accordance with the latest trends. METANANO-2019 will include symposiums, special sessions, and lectures by renowned scientists.


METANANO: history, geography, participants

The METANANO conference is organized every year by the staff of ITMO University’s Faculty of Physics and Engineering. The first conference took place in 2016 in Anapa and brought together some 90 scientists. Back then, 90% of the event’s participants represented various Russian universities and research centers. During the second conference, set in Vladivostok, the number of international guests made up 40% of the total audience of 250 participants. The third conference took place in Sochi and brought together more than 300 researchers in the field of nanophotonics and metamaterials from the top laboratories and research centers of the UK, Germany, Sweden, France, the USA, Australia, China, Russia, and other countries. The fourth Metanano is expected to welcome over 350 guests with a 50-50 ratio of Russian to international participants.

“The idea is that the conference travels from city to city, like many major global conferences do, and never comes to the same place twice. This year, we decided to host the conference in St. Petersburg, as we’re celebrating the anniversary of ITMO University’s Center of Nanophotonics and Metamaterials. Ten years ago, a small group of enthusiasts had founded the laboratory that has grown into a new Faculty and a major research center. We would like to celebrate this occasion with our colleagues from around the world,” comments Pavel Belov, the general chair of METANANO-2019.

Pavel Belov
Pavel Belov

METANANO-2019: top scientists, symposiums, and new sessions

The conference’s program traditionally includes plenary sessions during which world-class scientists deliver reports on their research in the field of nanophotonics and metamaterials. This year, some of these reports will be intended not only for experts in specialized fields but for all guests of the conference. For instance, during the broad theme plenary session Kamil Ugurbil, a professor at the University of Minnesota (USA), will speak about the study of the human connectome (neural brain map) using advanced methods of neurovisualization.

This year the conference will welcome even more trendsetting scientists: professor Martin Wegener of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology will deliver a report on chirality in optical and mechanical metamaterials; professor Masaya Notomi of NTT Nanophotonics Center and the Tokyo Institute of Technology will share insights into the value of applied science, and namely the novel functionalities arising from integrated nanophotonics; professor Marin Soljačić of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will speak about deep learning in photonics; and Philippe Lalanne of the Institut D'optique, ParisTech will report on the interaction of light with nanoresonators. Among the event’s key speakers is also Oliver Graydon, the chief editor of the Nature Photonics journal, who will offer an inside look at the process of publishing scientific articles. Overall, nine world-famous scientists and specialists will be speakers at the plenary sessions; six will take part in the general plenary session and three in the broad theme plenary session, dedicated to topics in the area of popular science.

Kamil Ugurbil. Credit:
Kamil Ugurbil. Credit:

In addition to the plenary speakers, the conference will welcome some twenty keynote speakers. A full list of the speakers at METANANO-2019 can be found on the official website.

Symposiums: BioMETANANO and QuantuMetanano

Another new feature to be introduced in 2019 are the two special symposiums BioMETANANO and QuantuMetanano. At these events, scientists will present the results of their interdisciplinary research.

The BioMETANANO symposium is dedicated to the latest advancements in biomedical research related to visualization and nanotechnologies. Its participants are researchers working in various rapidly developing fields, such as MRI, drug delivery, advanced contrast agents, and synthesis of biocompatible platforms for imaging and sensing. In addition to members of the scientific community, representatives of the industry, including specialists from major MRI manufacturers Siemens and Philips, will also present their reports.

The QuantuMetanano symposium will focus on photonic quantum technology, an actively developing field that studies the unique properties of light as provided by quantum mechanics, superposition and entanglement. The symposium will serve as a platform for the discussion of the latest achievements in the development and application of single photon sources. Other topics will include theoretical and experimental research in numerous fields, including diamond nanophotonics, new materials, new concepts of quantum photonics, and more.


“Just like in the previous years, we are once again making an emphasis on interdisciplinarity. The BioMETANANO symposium is not just something for biologists or physicists; even the name itself should tell you that it’s an event for specialists in medicine, biology, photonics, and other sciences. The QuantuMetanano symposium, for its part, will include discussions on quantum phenomena under the umbrella of a wide range of topics. Today, many researchers are transitioning to the quantum level of photonics where they work with individual photons and study their behavior. Notably, the symposiums are being organized by international teams of scientists, which will help us look at the conference’s topics and subjects from a more global point of view,” says Mikhail Limonov, the chair of the METANANO-2019 technical program committee.

New sessions

This year, the number of METANANO’s special sessions has been increased to 13. They are organized by the staff of the Faculty of Physics and Engineering, scientists from international universities and research centers (Australian National University, the University of Texas at Dallas, University of Southern Denmark), and other participants who have attended the previous METANANO conferences and expressed their desire to join the organizing team. For example, last year the staff of the Center of Nanophotonics and Metamaterials, along with the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, organized a special session on graphene, which was joined by Andre Geim, the Laureate of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics (read our interview with Prof. Geim here). The session will be held once again this year.


Travel grants and key dates

Just like in the previous years, talented students and young scientists can participate in a special grant competition by submitting a CV and motivational letter before the April 15, 2019 deadline. The METANANO program committee will consider all applications and cover the winners’ travel expenses and registration fee. Applications will be reviewed over the course of three weeks, with the winners being announced on May 6, 2019.

Participants’ papers must be submitted before March 3, 2019 (staff and students of ITMO University can submit theirs before March 10, 2019); the METANANO-2019 conference will be held on July 15-19, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Russia. To learn more about participation and the venue, visit the event’s official website.