Department of Optics and Spectroscopy was founded in 1960 on the basis of specialization '' Optics and Spectroscopy'' established by L.V. Popov in 1945. An intensive research work, mainly in the field of atomic and molecular spectroscopy, has been carried out at the department since its establishment. The first head of the department was professor, Honored Scientist of Tatarstan I.S. Pominov, who headed the department during 31 years. For 15 years he served as head of the Faculty of Physics. I.S. Pominov is veteran of the Second World War. He graduated from Kazan University in 1948. His main research work is related to molecular spectroscopy. Along with I.S. Pominovo first teachers of the department was professor, honored worker of science of Tatarstan, I.S. Fishman, as well as the follower of L.V. Popov –  associate professors A.L. Stolov and RB Tagirov. R.B. became subsequently Professor, Head of the General Physics department. The following disciplines were tought to student: "Applied Optics", "Atomic spectroscopy", "Molecular Spectroscopy", "Atomic spectral analysis", "Molecular spectral analysis", "Physics of gas discharge". From the very beginning, engineers N.N. Vlasov and G.I. Frolov worked at the Department from the very beginning. They were directly involved in the educational and research processes for nearly forty years. Associate Professor A.L. Stolov, engineer V.V. Chizhov and Senior Lecturer S.A. Mashkevich have made a great contribution to the creation of laboratory practical works. In 2006 the Department of Optics and Spectroscopy accepted the new name “Department of optics and nanophotonics”.