Forbes: Mario Lanza, Discovering Nanotechnology


The prestigious magazine Forbes published on September 19th of 2017 an extensive interview with Dr. Mario Lanza, Young 1000 Talent Professor at the Institute of Functional Nano & Soft Materials (FUNSOM) of Soochow University. In that interview Prof. Lanza highlighted the positive impact of nanotechnology in modern societies, explained his work in the field of information technologies, and highlighted his recent developments of two dimensional materials based non-volatile memory devices, including a patented device that has received an investment of 5.6 million Yuan. Prof. Lanza discussed the benefits of nanotechnology in other fields, such as textile, food engineering and nanomedicine. Finally, Prof. Lanza also highlighted the excellent conditions to do research in China and Soochow University, especially in terms of funding and manpower.


Link to the report (in Spanish):


If we talk about nanotechnology, it seems that we are putting on the table an academic issue that has little to do with the lives of ordinary people. There is the concept that nanotechnology is a scientific revolution of a few that pretend to create futuristic and little useful devices. Nothing further from reality, nanotechnology is basic to live in today's society. All electronic devices we use daily contain electronic components of nanometer size. These devices have allowed the creation of countless jobs, and have improved our efficiency. In addition, new areas such as medicine, food or the textile industry are benefiting from these discoveries.


Mario Lanza is an expert in this area of work, not only for his studies, also thanks to the experience he has been able to acquire around the world. Originally from Barcelona, he finished his studies in Higher Engineering in his native city, as well as the Master and Doctorate, which he combined with his first international experiences in the professional world. From Peking University to Silicon Valley to Stanford, at the age of 30 he began to run his own research group at Soochow University (China), and shortly thereafter the Chinese government granted him very generous funding to develop several projects. I currently run a team of 20 researchers, he says.

At the moment, Prof. Lanza works in nanotechnology applied to the field of information, his specialty. We manufacture electronic memories capable of storing large amounts of data in tiny spaces. What we do is to introduce advanced materials (such as graphene) to further increase its performance (speed, consumption, duration) and provide new functionalities (flexibility, transparency). Recently, one of her students has developed a current sensor to analyze materials and nanoelectronic devices that has a life time a hundred times longer than standard sensors. This project has been welcomed in the market, making Chinese investors have given almost a million Euros to optimize and market this new technology. Hopefully in a few years all the nanoelectronic laboratories will use them, he says excitedly.


Nanotechnology and the 21st Century

The development of nanotechnology in the last decade has been spectacular, but Prof. Lanza believes that it is a path that has just begun to move. Every time we develop a new material or device opens a wide range of possible applications. Fortunately, developed countries are investing heavily in nanotechnology, and in general this is a rising sector in which there are more and more jobs.

As we have already mentioned, the benefits of nanotechnology are seen day by day in our society, although work and investment do not guarantee success since the problems to solve are very complex. Traditionally, the sector that has made the most progress thanks to nanotechnology is computing. The invention of microprocessors has made it possible to develop the working tools of millions of people: computers, telephones, internet ... In this field there are still many things to invent, such as neuromorph systems (which simulate neuronal brain functioning) or quantum computers (which are based on the movement of discrete atoms)
.Prof. Lanzaclarifies.

Right now the biggest investments are directed to nanomedicine, so one of the sectors that has noticed this evolution is medicine. Nanotechnology applied to the field of medicine has allowed the introduction of cameras, sensors and actuators in the body, manipulate cells individually and apply treatments locally to avoid side effects in other parts of the body.


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Editor: Danting Xiang