It is an engineering-type and base-type institute which takes the basic application of infrared physics and optoelectronics as its main research direction and integrates the research on engineering technology with the high-tech industrialization. It was selected as one of the first institutes for the knowledge innovation program initiated by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1998.
At present, the institute has 723 staffs among whom 554 are researchers including 6 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, 89 professors, 109 associate professors or senior engineers and 188 engineers; it has 413 postgraduates including 178 postgraduates for Doctor’s degree, 235 postgraduates for Master’s degree, 8 postdoctoral fellows and 13 visiting professors at school.
The institute is now mainly engaged in the research on infrared optoelectronics and takes the basic research on new infrared photoelectric materials, new devices and new methods etc. as its main research direction toward the 21st century. It has placed its emphasis on the development of advanced airborne and space-borne payloads, infrared staring imaging and signal processing, infrared focal plane array and infrared photoelectric devices, optical coating, miniature coolers, processing of medical images and remote sensing information etc.. It has 9 corresponding research departments, a national key laboratory for infrared physics, a national key laboratory for sensors (the branch of photo-sensor) and an innovation laboratory for infrared imaging materials and devices. As a holding limited company of the institute, Shanghai Tech-Phys Optoelecronics Company has made its investment in 14 companies such as Shanghai Nicera Sensor Co. Ltd. and etc..
It is mainly engaged in the research and development, production and marketing of various kinds of sensor and inactive optical communication device products. In 2005, it achieved its sales income of RMB 500 million yuan and a total profit of RMB 70 million yuan.