Gianluigi Botton received a degree in Engineering Physics and a PhD in Materials Engineering from Ecole Polytechnique of Montréal under the supervision of Gilles L’Espérance. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge from 1993 to 1998 working with Sir Colin Humphreys. He joined the Materials Technology Laboratory of Natural Resources Canada in 1998 as a research scientist working with Graham Carpenter and Tom Malis.
In 2001, he moved to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at McMaster University, where he holds a Canada Research Chair in Electron Microscopy of Nanoscale Materials. He received the Metal Physics Medal of the Canadian Materials Science Conference, the Lee Hsun Research Award from the Institute Metals Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the M.B.Ives lectureship of the ASM.
He is a Fellow of the Microscopy Society of America and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Prof. Botton established the Canadian Centre for Electron Microscopy-CCEM, a national facility for ultrahigh-resolution microscopy, and was its director for over 11 years. Through his efforts, he transformed a small departmental electron microscopy laboratory to become a national research facility in Canada.
His research, using analytical electron microscopy, focused on electron energy loss spectroscopy, developing initially imaging tools for materials analysis, momentum resolved methods for studying the anisotropy in alloys and quantum materials, and near-edge fine structure methods for understanding bonding and electronic structure of solids. More recently, the efforts in his team focused on atomic resolved spectroscopy and on low-loss spectroscopy to understand plasmon surface plasmon resonances in nanostructured materials and the application of electron energy loss spectroscopy to probe, at high spatial resolution, the behavior of energy-materials.
He is one of the editors of Microscopy, the journal of the Microscopy Society of Japan, and on the editorial board of Micron, the Elsevier journal dedicated to the application of electron microscopy methods. In May 2019, he became the Science Director at the Canadian Light Source, the largest scientific research facility in Canada, while he continues his research in electron microscopy.