The laboratory was founded in 1985 as a Surface Science Research Group in the Chemical Laboratory of the General Physics Institute. In 1998 it was transformed into the Surface Phenomena Laboratory.

Now it includes seven permanent position researchers and one postgraduate student.

The main directions of activity are Halogen Chemistry on Surface , Nanotechnology, and R&D of Local Probe Microscopes.

The scientific equipment consists of two ultrahigh vacuum multi-chambers setups with electron spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, electron diffraction and interference, optical spectrometry, and scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy.

The research projects are supported by Russian Foundation of Basic Research, Surface Atomic Structures program and Technologies and Devices for Micro- and Nanoelectronics program of Ministry of Science and Technologies of Russia, NATO Linkage program, Russia-Italy International Protocol for Cooperation.