# Nick Holonyak

Nick Holonyak
Holonyak in 2002
BornNovember 3, 1928
DiedSeptember 18, 2022 (aged 93)
Alma materUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; BS 1950, MS 1951, PhD 1954
Known forInventing red LED
Awards
Scientific career
FieldsElectrical engineering
ThesisEffect of Surface Conditions on Characteristics of Rectifier Junctions (1954)

Nick Holonyak Jr. (/hʌlɒnjæk/ huh-LON-yak; November 3, 1928 – September 18, 2022) was an American engineer and educator. He is noted particularly for his 1962 invention of a light-emitting diode (LED) that emitted visible red light instead of infrared light while working at General Electric's research laboratory in Syracuse, New York. After leaving General Electric in 1963, he returned to his alma mater, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he later became John Bardeen Endowed Chair Emeritus in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics.

## Early life and career

Nick Holonyak Jr. was born in Zeigler, Illinois, on November 3, 1928. His parents were Rusyn immigrants. His father worked in a coal mine. Holonyak was the first member of his family to receive any type of formal schooling. He once worked 30 straight hours on the Illinois Central Railroad before realizing that a life of hard labor was not what he wanted and he would prefer to go to school instead. According to the Chicago Tribune, "The cheap and reliable semiconductor lasers critical to DVD players, bar code readers and scores of other devices owe their existence in some small way to the demanding workload thrust upon Downstate railroad crews decades ago."

Holonyak earned his bachelor's (1950), master's (1951), and doctoral (1954) degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Holonyak was John Bardeen's first graduate student there. In 1954, Holonyak went to Bell Telephone Laboratories, where he worked on silicon-based electronic devices. From 1955 to 1957 he served with the U.S. Army Signal Corps. From 1957 to 1963 he was a scientist at the General Electric Company's Advanced Semiconductor Laboratory in Syracuse, New York, where he demonstrated the LED on October 9, 1962.

## Personal life

Holonyak and his wife, Katherine, were married for over 60 years. He died on September 18, 2022, in Urbana, Illinois, at the age of 93.

This page was last updated at 2022-09-27 02:41 UTC. . View original page.

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