Tomas Alexander

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Department: Materials Simulation and Theory


I am a Swedish research council (VR) international postdoc fellow, active at ICMAB in Barcelona and KTH, Stockholm. During my time at ICMAB, I will use first principles theory to investigate strain-gradient/curvature induced magnetic phenomena, aiming at developing the new research field of flexomagnetism.

After studies at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden, I received my PhD in physics from Uppsala University in 2016. During my PhD work, I used first principles calculations, and related computational methods, to investigate the magnetic properties of transition metal compounds for permanent magnet applications. This research led to new insights in how one can tune the magnetic properties, with focus on magnetocrystalline anisotropy, in such materials, with possible high importance for green technologies. I also studied magnetic effects in electron scattering processes, leading the way towards new methods of imaging magnetic materials, with extremely high spatial resolution, using transmission electron microscopy.

Next, I did postdoctoral research at the ETH Zürich, Switzerland. During this time I expanded my interest from magnetism towards ferroelectric and multiferroic materials. Using first principles based modelling, I showed how enormous magnetoelectric coupling can be achieved near a so called tetracritical point, which can practically be found, e.g., by strain engineering the perovskite compound SrMnO3. I also showed that such a point allows for new exciting phenomena within the are of solid state cooling. In particular, a strong cross-caloric magnetic contribution to the electrocaloric effect was predicted.

My publications are listed on Google Scholar.

Research interest

Materials theory, magnetism and magnetic materials, flexomagnetism, multiferroic materials, first principles calculations, computational physics, condensed matter physics, permanent magnets, caloric effects, transmission electron microscopy and theory of electron scattering.

University Degrees:

PhD in Physics from Uppsala University
Uppsala, Sweden, 2016.

Masters degree in Engineering physics from KTH
Stockholm, Sweden, 2012.


  • Magnetism.
  • Flexomagnetism.
  • Multiferroic materials.
  • First principles calculations.
  • Density Functional Theory (DFT).
  • Monte Carlo and Molecular Dynamics simulations.
  • Materials theory.
  • Caloric effects.
  • Computational Physics.
  • Condensed Matter Physics.
  • Magnetic anisotropy.
  • Permanent magnet materials
  • Theory and simulations of transmission electron microscopy.


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