The U.S.P.T.O. has allowed US Patent Application No. 12/111,992, “Visible Light Titania Photocatalyist, Method for Making Same, and Processes for Use Thereof.” The US Patent will issue to Nanoptek in February.

“This patent further strengthens our already substantial intellectual property portfolio for more efficient solar production of molecules,” says John Guerra, President and CEO of Nanoptek. “Additional international patent applications for this invention are pending, and one was issued last year by the Republic of South Africa.”

The invention continues the company’s stress-induced bandgap engineering of titania, and potentially other semiconductors, to effect higher efficiency in sunlight. But here the stress is applied by essentially stuffing “fat” carbon or nitrogen ions into the titania crystal lattice. The resulting titania is stable but the stress from this “interstitial ion insertion” causes it to be active in more of the visible light spectrum, for highly effective cleaning of water with sunlight, or for protective performance pigment additives that absorb both ultraviolet and high energy blue light.

Nanoptek becomes LightFuel

Nanoptek recently underwent a name change to LightFuel. In 2015, the company’s Board of Directors approved “LightFuel Company” as its Doing Business As (DBA) name effective July 4, 2015. The symbolism is no accident with Independence Day and in a year the United Nations declared “The International Year of Light.”

“We believe that our LightFuelTM Generators and the Lightfuel Hydrogen (or simply LightFuel) that they produce will eventually help us all to win our independence from the carbon economy. This re-brand focuses attention on our compelling and disruptive sunlight-to-hydrogen LightFuel technology and products,” the company said in a statement.

Nanoptek will remain the company’s legal corporation name and will continue to be used for non-hydrogen technologies, including our Visible Light PhotocatalystTM for cleaning water, performance pigments like Nanoptek YellowTM, and super-resolution Photon Tunneling MicroscopeTM.