Charles H. Henry

Charles H. Henry
Chicago, IL, USA
Death date
Associated organizations
Bell Labs
Fields of study
IEEE Jack A. Morton Award


Charles H. Henry was born on May 6, 1937 in Chicago Illinois. He earned his M.S. degree in Physics from the University of Chicago (1959) and his doctoral degree in Physics from the University of Illinois (1965). He then joined Bell Laboratories, where we went on to spend his entire career.

Henry joined the technical staff of Bell Laboratories in 1965, and in 1971, became the head of the Semiconductor Electronic Research Department. He remained in this position for four years. Henry spent his career researching light-emitting diodes, semiconductor lasers, and photonic integrated circuits.

Henry is known for his work with quantum wells and his invention of the quantum well laser in the early 1970s. In the early 1980s, he established the "alpha parameter" as a primary parameter of semiconductor lasers. His paper on this topic has been cited well over 500 times and is a standard within the study of semiconductor lasers. In the late 1980s Henry focused on developing a different way of making integrated optical circuits, which has come to be known as silicon optical bench waveguide technology.

In 1999 Henry received the IEEE Jack A. Morton Award. He has also received awards and honors from the American Institute of Physics, the Optical Society of America, and the University of Illinois. He is also a fellow of the American Physical Society, IEEE, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In addition to all of his accomplishments, Henry holds 127 patents and has published 133 papers.