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MIT Technology Review

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  • Adekunle Adeyeye

    Age:
    33

    Ten years ago,Adekunle Adeyeye left his computer-programming job in Ibadan,Nigeria, to get a master’s in microelectronics engineering at the University of Cambridge in England.Despite a rocky start,he finished atop his class.He joined the physics PhD program at the university’s Cavendish Laboratory,where he researched magnetism in thin films.He then became the first Nigerian elected as a prestigious junior research fellow of Trinity College at Cambridge.There,Adeyeye devised nanofabrication tech- niques that allowed him to create novel nano magnets.His mentor,physicist Stephen Julian, attributes Adeyeye’s success to “tremendous energy and creativity.”Today Adeyeye is a founding researcher at the $10 million Information Storage Materials Laboratory at the National University of Singapore,where he works in the field of “spintronics.”Conventional electronics take advan- tage of the charge of electrons in semiconducting materials.But electrons also have a property called “spin.”If Adeyeye succeeds in better utilizing electron spin,he could help revolutionize memory and logic devices,leading to smaller,faster and less power-hungry computers.