The sector studying the theory of optical and electrical phenomena in semiconductors was established at Ioffe Institute in 1981 by Vladimir Perel. Traditionally, the scientific interests of our researchers cover almost all areas of solid state physics, as well as some issues of atomic physics and plasma physics. Professors Irina Yassievich, Michel Dyakonov, Alexei Efros and Boris Shklovskii used to work at the sector. Dmitrij Polyakov, Alexander Khaetsky and Alexander Furman are among our alumni.

In 1982 Michel Dyakonov founded a weekly theoretical seminar. The seminar is held on Thursdays, starting at 17:00 and traditionally begins with tea drinking, so in the scientific world it's got a name of "Tea Seminar". The subjects of the reports are very broad and include not only theory and experiment in solid state physics, but even some topics from plasma physics, astrophysics, and others. Now it is the oldest active seminar at the Institute for the condensed matter physics.