Gilberto Fabbris, a physicist with the Advanced Photon Source (APS), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science user facility at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, is the recipient of the 2022 Alvin Van Valkenburg Award for his work in the area of condensed matter physics at high pressure.
This award is given every second year in the name of renowned physicist Alvin Van Valkenburg, co-inventor of the diamond anvil cell (DAC), to honor a young scientist who uses this device in his or her scientific research. Fabbris was presented with a medal and gave a talk on his work at the biannual 2022 Gordon Conference on Research at High Pressures, held in July at the Holderness School in New Hampshire.
A DAC is made of small diamonds, and allows scientists to put samples between those diamonds to exert massive amounts of pressure on them. This pressure forces changes in the samples, and scientists use the ultrabright X-rays of the APS to study those changes.
Fabbris’ work is particularly concerned with emergent electronic properties in strongly correlated electron systems. He has combined DACs in low-temperature and high-magnetic field environments with 4-probe electrical resistance as well as a broad range of synchrotron radiation spectroscopic and scattering techniques to interrogate novel electronic states at extreme pressures.
In a 2016 paper, Fabbris presented the first implementation of polarized X-ray absorption fine structure measurements in the DAC which, simultaneously with X-ray scattering, allowed him to establish a direct correlation between superconductivity and characteristics of the material.
In addition to his impactful research published as lead author, Fabbris currently leads the high-pressure research program at beamline 4-ID-D of the APS.