Thomas Thomson

Thomas Thomson


Personal profile

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

My group

My group


Professor in Computer Engineering, head of the Nano Engineering and Storage Technologies Research Group and Chair of the management board of (Graphene) NOWNANO Centre for Doctoral Training. 

Prior to coming to Manchester, I worked for many years in the data storage industry in Silicon Valley and was a research staff member at IBM Almaden Research Center/ Hitachi San Jose Research Center in San Jose, California for 7 years.  I am currently chair of the Institute of Physics Magnetism Group and was chief editor of the IEEE Transactions on Magnetics associated with the Intermag conferences from 2010 - 2012. Additionally, I served as the worldwide finance chair of the IEEE Magnetics Society 2011 - 2012. I currently sit on the programme committees for both the MMM and Intermag conferences.

I recently (April 2014) chaired the first in a new series UK magnetism conferences (Magnetism 2014) with the aim of showcasing UK research and providing networking opportunities.

Research interests

Current research is focussed on developing novel perpendicular anisotropy, nanostructured exchange spring thin films for data storage (e.g. for bit patterned media) and spintronics. A particular interest is the interaction of hybrid magnetic films where individual layers with in-plane and perpendicular anisotropy (PMA) are placed in intimate contact. The competition between exchange coupling, magnetostatic interactions and anisotropy provides a rich playground to explore zero applied field spintronic devices such as spin torque oscillators (STOs) and controlled topological magnetic structures including mutual domain imprints and vortices.

We have a significant effort in creating and understanding the properties of magnetic thin film multilayers where, in addition to the applied field, the system exhibits a
temperature dependence. A prototype structure is FePt(high PMA)/FeRh/FePt(low PMA) where the magnetic properties are controlled by the FeRh layer which uniquely undergoes an antiferromagnetic to ferromagnetic phase transition above room temperature (T~ 370K). This material shows considerable promise for heat assisted magnetic recording (HAMR) and very recently it has been suggested that it might also form the basis of a memory resistor.

A second stand of research concentrates on electrical measurements of magnetic properties where we pattern mesoscale Hall devices to study the switching of nanomagnetic objects including novel, high ansiotropy PMA materials and to measure the transport properties of FeRh.

Additional research work is focussed on understanding magnetism in graphene and exploring the potential of 2D materials for spintronic applications.

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Advanced materials
  • Digital Futures
  • National Graphene Institute


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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  • CDT in Science and Applications of Graphene and Related Nanomaterial

    Grigorieva, I., Burnett, H., Cusworth, E., Deaconu, D., Dumitriu-Iovanescu, A., Kang, Y., Little, J., Rees, E., Selles, F., Shaker, M., Soong, Y., Swindell, J., Tainton, G., Wood, H., Astles, T., Carl, A., Chen, G., Richard De Latour, H., Dowinton, O., Haskell, S., Hills, K., Hoole, C., Huang, Y., Kalsi, T., Powell, L., Quiligotti, K., Rimmer, J., Smith, L., Thornley, W., Yang, J., Young, W., Zhao, M., Al Busaidi, R., Al Ruqeishi, E., Chadha, A., Chen, M., Dennis, G., Dunn, E., Gamblen, E., Gao, Y., Georgantas, Y., Jiang, Z., Karakasidi, A., Mcellistrim, A., Meehan, M., Okwelogu, E., Taylor, M., Wang, W., Xin, B., Castle, C., Clout, P., Dean, S. D., Fordham, A., Griffin, E., Hardwick, T., Hawkins-Pottier, G., Jones, A., Lewthwaite, K., Monteil, S., Moulsdale, C., Mullan, C., Orts Mercadillo, V., Sanderson, D., Skliueva, I., Skuse, C., Steiner, P., Winstanley, B., Barry, D., Brooks, D., Cai, J., Chen, Y., Chen, C., Draude, A., Emmerson, C., Gavriliuc, V., Greaves, M., Higgins, E., Mcmaster, R., Mcnair, R., O'Brien, C., Peasey, A., Pinter, G., Shao, S., Thomas, D., Thomas, D., Tsim, L. T. B., Wengraf, J., Weston, A., Yu, T., De Libero, H., Chan, K. C., Tan, Y. T. & Thomson, T.


    Project: Other