“Science is very social, and my success is a credit to the support from SBQMI that enabled me to travel, to meet new collaborators and coworkers, and to establish my research program in my first faculty role,” said Fabio Boschini.
Boschini is an Assistant Professor in Ultrafast Science at Quebec’s Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS), Energy Materials and Telecommunications research center, and newly appointed Affiliate Investigator at the Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute (SBQMI). After completing his postdoctoral studies at SBQMI, he began working to establish his lab at the Advanced Laser Light Source (ALLS) user facility at INRS in November 2020.
At INRS, Boschini is working with François Légaré to build a next-generation time-resolved angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (TR-ARPES) system. It will be the second system in Canada after the one housed at SBQMI and employed by Andrea Damascelli and David Jones; for Boschini, this represents a crucial opportunity to further materials research in Canada by establishing a complementary facility.
“This is why I am so excited to be an affiliate member of SBQMI,” said Boschini. “We are building the capacity to thoroughly explore the ultrafast dynamics of quantum materials using complementary systems.”
Boschini and Légaré are developing a high-harmonic-based TR-ARPES system with high-intensity long-wavelength pump capabilities.
“The idea is to employ high-intensity optical excitations in the mid-infrared to THz range to excite specific collective excitations of matter and change its properties in a dynamic way,” explained Boschini. “Our ultimate goal is to access new states of matter with no equilibrium counterpart in an effort to understand the dynamical properties of quantum materials.”
Boschini first came to SBQMI as a postdoctoral fellow in 2015 with expertise in TR-ARPES gleaned from his PhD work at Politecnico di Milano. He worked closely with Damascelli and colleagues, their early efforts culminating in the publication of a paper titled Collapse of superconductivity in cuprates via ultrafast quenching of the phase coherence in Nature Materials in 2018.
“The Nature paper was a huge milestone, and I’m also very proud of my collaboration with graduate student MengXing Na, which resulted in a publication in December 2019 in Science,” said Boschini. “MengXing did most of the analysis, and I was mentoring her the whole time; it was just a really important project and I’m proud of what we accomplished together.”
For Boschini, collaboration is everything; the relationships he developed at SBQMI have propelled him forward, linking him with an emerging network of early career and established researchers both in Canada and universities and research institutes around the world, including with fellow SBQMI alum Eduardo H. Da Silva Neto, with whom he recently published new work.
“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with SBQMI researchers, including Andrea and David,” said Boschini. “SBQMI is one of very few places in the world to provide such comprehensive support for trainees; there’s this understanding that in order to be successful, you have to connect with other people, to showcase your work and know what’s going on in the community and in other labs. I was supported to do research I was interested in, and I am still being supported by SBQMI as I find my way as a new faculty member and work to establish my own lab. SBQMI helped me achieve my goals.”