Pulsed Power

Thomas Mattsson

Thomas Mattsson

Manager, R&D Science and Engineering

Staff Member
Thomas manages the High Energy Density Physics (HEDP) Theory department at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


After obtaining a Master of Science in Engineering Physics and realizing that there was so much more to explore in the study of physics, I continued on in graduate school modeling hydrogen diffusion using path-integral Monte Carlo. In particular, I investigated the transition from classical hopping diffusion to quantum tunneling for hydrogen on metal surfaces in Goran Wahnstrom's group at Chalmers University. Following graduate school, I was a postdoctoral scholar in Horia Metiu's group at University of Santa Barbara, California, modeling growth on metal surfaces, accelerating simulations by a multi-scale coarse-graining approach.

During 1999-2000, I returned to Sweden and first worked on defects in solids, in particular formation energies and diffusion barriers for vacancies at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. I then did research in telecommunications at Allgon Systems in Taby. My work on vacancies continued at Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico. After a few years a colleague, Michael Desjarlais, introduced me to high energy-density physics as a very interesting area of research for density functional theory (DFT) and that's where my main focus has been since then.

Interests Outside of Science

New Mexico is a state with fascinating nature and spectacular sunsets. I very much enjoy skiing in the winter and biking in the spring, summer, and fall. The culture, art, and architecture of New Mexico are also extraordinary and I enjoy spending time in Taos, both during the summer and winter alike.


Ph.D. Theoretical Physics Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden 1997
M.Sc. Engineering Physics Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden 1990

Research Interests

I have a broad interest in computational physics with emphasis on first-principles simulations of matter under normal and extreme conditions. I find it exciting to explore materials and processes from an atomistic point of view – how do materials change under pressure and temperature? How does a silicon dimer move on a surface? How can one understand the slide-puzzle of vacancies moving in a solid metal? Computer simulations of atomic motion can bring a great deal of insight into phenomena like these and many more. The HEDP Theory department, in addition to first-principles material modeling, works to develop new algorithms in magneto-hydrodynamics; design, analyze, and optimize dynamical material experiments on Sandia's Z facility; and conducts kinetic simulations of plasmas.


Most recent scientific papers

Quantum Monte Carlo applied to solids, Shulenburger, L. and Mattsson, T.R., PHYSICAL REVIEW B 88, 245117 (2013); DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.88.245117

Shock compression of hydrocarbon foam to 200GPa: Experiments, atomistic simulations, and mesoscale hydrodynamic modeling, Root, Seth, Haill, Thomas A., Lane, J. Matthew D., Thompson, Aidan P., Grest, Gary S., Schroen, Diana G., and Mattsson, Thomas R., JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS 114, 103502 (2013). DOI: 10.1063/1.4821109

Hot spot and temperature analysis of shocked hydrocarbon polymer foams using molecular dynamics simulation, Lane, J. Matthew D., Grest, Gary S., and Mattsson, Thomas R., COMPUTATIONAL MATERIALS SCIENCE 79, 873 (2013). DOI: 10.1016/j.commatsci.2013.06.044

Carbon dioxide shock and reshock equation of state data to 8 Mbar: Experiments and simulations, Root, Seth, Cochrane, Kyle R., Carpenter, John H., and Mattsson, Thomas R., PHYSICAL REVIEW B 87, 224102 (2013). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.87.224102

Mixing of equations of state for xenon-deuterium using density functional theory, Magyar, Rudolph J. and Mattsson, Thomas R., PHYSICS OF PLASMAS 20, 032701 (2013). DOI: 10.1063/1.4793441

Probing the Interiors of the Ice Giants: Shock Compression of Water to 700 GPa and 3.8 g/cm(3), Knudson, M. D., Desjarlais, M. P., Lemke, R. W., Mattsson, T. R., French, M., Nettelmann, N., and Redmer, R., PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 108, 091102 (2012). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.091102

Highlighted papers

Laminar growth of ultrathin metal films on metal oxides: Co on hydroxylated alpha-Al2O3(0001), Chambers, S.A., Droubay, T., Jennison, D.R., and Mattsson, T.R., SCIENCE 297, 827 (2002). DOI:10.1126/science.1073404

Phase diagram and electrical conductivity of high energy-density water from density functional theory, Mattsson, Thomas R., Desjarlais, Michael P., PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 97, 017801 (2006). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.97.017801

The phase diagram of water and the magnetic fields of Uranus and Neptune, Redmer, Ronald, Mattsson, Thomas R., Nettelmann, Nadine, and French, Martin, ICARUS 211, 798 (2011). DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2010.08.008

Designing meaningful density functional theory calculations in materials science - a primer, Mattsson, A.E., Schultz, P.A., Desjarlais, M.P., Mattsson, T.R., and Leung, K, MODELLING AND SIMULATION IN MATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING 13, R1 (2005). DOI: 10.1088/0965-0393/13/1/R01

Vacancies in metals: From first-principles calculations to experimental data, Carling, K., Wahnstrom, G., Mattsson, T.R., Mattsson, A.E., Sandberg, N., and Grimvall, G., PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 85, 3862 (2000). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.85.3862

Equation of state and phase diagram of water at ultrahigh pressures as in planetary interiors, French, Martin, Mattsson, Thomas R., Nettelmann, Nadine, and Redmer, Ronald, PHYSICAL REVIEW B 79, 054107 (2009). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.79.054107

The AM05 density functional applied to solids, Mattsson, Ann E., Armiento, Rickard, Paier, Joachim, Kresse, Georg, Wills, John M., and Mattsson, Thomas R., JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS 128, 084714 (2008). DOI:10.1063/1.2835596

Quantum-mechanical calculation of H on Ni(001) using a model potential based on first-principles calculations, Mattsson, T.R., Wahnstrom, G., Bengtsson, L., Hammer, B., PHYSICAL REVIEW B 56, 2258 (1997). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevB.56.2258

First-principles and classical molecular dynamics simulation of shocked polymers, Mattsson, Thomas R., Lane, J. Matthew D., Cochrane, Kyle R., Desjarlais, Michael P., Thompson, Aidan P., Pierce, Flint, and Grest, Gary S., PHYSICAL REVIEW B 81, 054103 (2010). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevB.81.054103

Shock Compression of a Fifth Period Element: Liquid Xenon to 840 GPa, Root, Seth, Magyar, Rudolph J., Carpenter, John H., Hanson, David L., and Mattsson, Thomas R., PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 105, 085501 (2010). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.105.085501


United States Patent: Method for tuning a radio filter, a radio filter and a system comprising such a radio filter, US 7,023,293 B2, Thomas Mattsson and Anders Jansson, April 4, (2006).