CAPPA industry partner, Superlum, celebrates 25 years in Ireland

Natalie Tuchapsky Superlum (left) with collaborative members

Superlum is a pioneer in the photonics market; for over 25 years, the company has delivered the most innovative, top-of-the-range low coherent Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) to a worldwide market.

Superlum collaborates with leading research groups in developing cutting-edge, high-performance products and new solutions for medical optical coherence tomography (OCT) and imaging for life sciences; industrial OCT and high-precision industrial sensors; navigation and aerospace; and metrology and atomic microscopy.

CAPPA has a long-established and productive working relationship with Superlum, going back many years. This has primarily revolved around the use and optimisation of Superlum’s products in OCT systems for real-time 3D imaging. In 2008, an SFI-funded project involved constructing and analysing a bench-top swept source laser system using Superlum components, conducted in collaboration with the company.

This sparked interest from Superlum about the possibility of growing their semiconductor superluminescent diode (SLD) devices using the cleanroom facilities at the Tyndall National Institute and exploring novel fabrication approaches to optimise and expand their capabilities. Following a successful Enterprise Ireland-funded Feasibility Study in 2010, to establish the compatibility of the designs with CAPPA facilities, CAPPA and Superlum embarked on an Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership project, aimed at significantly broadening the width of the spectrum covered by Superlum’s SLDs. This project lasted a year and had a budget of €100,000.

Superlum products

Superlum products

In 2011, Superlum also lent their support to a CAPPA-led Technology Innovation Development Award (TIDA) project, targeting improved output power and lifetime of short wavelength (~650nm) visible SLDs. In addition, Superlum has partnered with CAPPA on a number of EU FP7 and Horizon 2020 grant proposals over the years, and in 2011 they were a partner in the €4 million Marie Curie Training Network, PROPHET, coordinated by CAPPA. The project funded a postdoctoral researcher for two years, based full-time in Superlum, working on broadband sources for OCT at 850nm. This was in collaboration with four other European partners, within a network of 13 partners in total, from both academia and industry.

When the PROPHET funding ended, Superlum continued to employ the researcher, Dr Alexander Chamorovskiy, who is now a key member of their team. Superlum continues to engage with CAPPA through Innovation Vouchers, directly funded projects, and H2020 proposals such as Fast Track to Innovation and SME Instruments.

Superlum recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and continues to go from strength to strength providing bespoke optical solutions for partners worldwide. With the launch of a new website, a broader variety of components and devices on offer, and the continuing collaboration with CAPPA, we’re certain that Superlum will have many more anniversaries to celebrate!

About the author

Liam Lewis CAPPA technology gateway

Liam Lewis

CAPPA Technology Gateway Manager

021 433 5338