In his work, Dr. Gray etched tiny vacuum components on a silicon chip to help create devices that he said could be, in certain circumstances, faster and more reliable than those relying solely on solid-state technology. The microtubes have the capability of high-speed operation, Dr. Gray said, because in the vacuum there is less resistance to the motion of electrons than within solid-state devices.
In an interview with The Washington Post in 1989, Dr. Gray said vacuum microelectronic devices could be of particular use in extreme or battlefield environments, where equipment could be subjected to enormous temperatures or intense radiation.
Dr. Gray was a native of Montclair, N.J. He received bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in physics from the University of Notre Dame. He served in the Navy from 1959 to 1962.
He joined the Naval Research Laboratory in 1967 as an experimental surface physicist in the electronics science and technology division.
He was a member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Alexandria and the International Vacuum Microelectronics Conference.
Survivors include his wife, Joan G. Gray of Alexandria; three children, James R. Gray of New York City, Elizabeth Marie Gray of Volcano, Hawaii, and Catherine Ann Gray of Seattle; two brothers; and a sister.
(Obituary from https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1999/07/26/physicist-henry-f-gray-dies-at-62/74f7832f-9ce8-4683-a168-70bd7e64d477/)