Distinguished Alumni Awards

Charles H. Henry

Charles H.  Henry
To Charles H. Henry for seminal contributions to the fundamental understanding of the optical properties of quantum wells, semiconductor lasers, and advanced photo technologies.

Distinguished member of teh Technical Staff (retired), Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, Murray Hill, New Jersey

  • MS, 1959, Physics, Universtiy of Chicago
  • PhD, 1965, Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Charles H. Henry's original and creative contributions to the field of optical technologies revolutionized telecommunications. His work demonstrates a rare mastery of experiments and theory. For more than 30 years, he led research groups in optoelectronics at the Physics Research Division at Bell Laboratories, where he contributed to the development of the field with steady stream of new discoveries, observations, demonstrations, and theories. During his career, he invented or was a co-inventor of 28 U.S. patents, including the quantum well laser. Most modern semiconductor lasers employ quantum wells.

He led the development of silicon optical bench technology, including optical integrated circuits fabricated by silicon technology. This technology has found widespread use in optical communications in making multiplexers that combine and separate many wavelength traveling on the same optical fiber. Henry authored or co-authored more than 130 technical publications and made many contributions to knowledge. He was the first to demonstrate quantum well phenomena in the optical properties of thin heterojunctions, to explain the line broadening of semi conductor lasers, and to devise methods for calculating optical waveguide modes based on two-dimensional Fourier analysis. These and other discoveries and ideas provided a foundation for scientific investigation and advancement in laboratories around the world.

The broad influence of Henry's career was recognized in 1999 with two of the most distinguished prizes in engineering, the Jack A. Morton Award of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Charles Hard Townes Award of the Optical Society Of America. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He has served on various professional association committees and was a member of the American Physical Society Study Group on Photovoltaic Energy.

Current as of 2001.