Company Superlum Ireland
Type SME
Sector Photonics
Engagement Collaborative R&D

Company Overview

Superlum is a leading global manufacturer of superluminiscent diodes and modules. It is an international company, founded in Moscow in 1992, with its headquarters located in Ireland just outside Cork city in Carrigtohill. Superlum develops, manufacturers and distributes a wide range of SuperLuminescent Diode (SLD) based products covering the spectral range of 650–1620nm. These high power and low coherence light sources are deployed in many applications such as fiber-optic gyroscopes, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and test equipment for optical communication and other systems.

Collaborative R&D

CAPPA and Superlum have engaged in collaborative R&D which has been supported jointly by the company and Enterprise Ireland under their Innovation Partnership programme. This project started in autumn 2011, ran for 12 months and also included collaborators in the Tyndall National Institute. The unique property of SLDs is the combination of laser-diode-like output power and brightness with a broad LED-like optical spectrum. One of the strongest markets is medical imaging where SLDs are used as the light source for OCT systems. OCT is enabling a number of new medical imaging techniques for ocular and cardiovascular health.

Currently, the most common application of SLDs in OCT is for retinal imaging systems. The axial resolution of OCT in retinal tissue is about 6-10 μm, which is 10 to 100 times better than ultrasound or MRI. Although relatively new to ophthalmology, commercial OCT systems have already revolutionized the field, rapidly becoming an essential tool in the diagnosis and monitoring of human retinal disease. CAPPA, Tyndall and Superlum are now developing new approaches to improving SLD performance to enable next generation OCT systems with axial resolution of 3-4 μm.


Superlum are a full member of the PROPHET European Network which is being coordinated by CAPPA. PROPHET (Postgraduate Research on Photonics as an Enabling Technology) is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network funded by the EC under FP7 and Superlum’s involvement is focused on Life Science applications for photonics.


See also:

Read more about the PROPHET Marie Curie Initial Training Network in the Advanced Research section.