David DiVincenzo

The physicist is researching the theoretical prerequisites for quantum computing. He is one of the pioneers in this field.

David DiVincenzo
Forschungszentrum Jülich/Ralf-Uwe Limbach

Understanding the quantum world

Prof. David DiVincenzo is regarded as a pioneer in the field of quantum information. For instance, his name is associated with the development of a set of criteria that a quantum computer must fulfil: the “DiVincenzo criteria”.

The physicist is primarily concerned with quantum mechanics and the theoretical prerequisites for quantum computing. He is interested in pursuing both a better theoretical understanding of systems and components as well as ideas for new qubits and new approaches for building quantum computers.

“Unlike practitioners, I am not tied to a single piece of lab equipment, technique, or method. Nor am I bound to particular supercomputers or codes, as some other theorists are. All I need to develop ideas is a piece of paper to write on.”“
David DiVincenzo

Correcting errors

One focus of his research is qubits’ susceptibility to errors – one of the main hurdles in building quantum computers with ever more qubits. The American and his team are working on various theoretical approaches to correcting qubit errors. Among other things, they have designed a circuit arrangement for a superconducting circuit that has a kind of built-in error correction.

Before DiVincenzo came to Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University in 2011, he worked for IT corporation IBM in a research laboratory for more than 25 years. In 2010, he received the Alexander von Humboldt Professorship, Germany’s most valuable international research award, which paved the way for his move to Germany.

The five “DiVincenzo criteria” for a quantum computer

  1. The system consists of a scalable system of well-characterized qubits, i.e. qubits that are well understood.
  2. It must be possible to put the qubits into a defined initial state.
  3. A universal set of elementary quantum gates, i.e. computational operations, can be performed.
  4. Individual qubits (at least one) can be measured.
  5. The coherence time of the system is much longer than the gate operation time, i.e. the duration of a computational operation.

Selected projects

  • OpenSuperQ
    Construction of a European quantum computer with superconducting qubits


Prof. Dr. David DiVincenzo

Director, Institute for Theoretical Nanoelectronics (PGI-2) and JARA-FIT (PGI-11)

  • Peter Grünberg Institute (PGI)
  • Theoretical Nanoelectronics (PGI-2)
Building 04.8 /
Room R 263
+49 2461/61-9069

Last Modified: 18.08.2022