Coupled quantum dots as quantum gates

Phys. Rev. B 59, 2070 – Published 15 January 1999
Guido Burkard, Daniel Loss, and David P. DiVincenzo


We consider a quantum-gate mechanism based on electron spins in coupled semiconductor quantum dots. Such gates provide a general source of spin entanglement and can be used for quantum computers. We determine the exchange coupling J in the effective Heisenberg model as a function of magnetic (B) and electric fields, and of the interdot distance a within the Heitler-London approximation of molecular physics. This result is refined by using sp hybridization, and by the Hund-Mulliken molecular-orbit approach, which leads to an extended Hubbard description for the two-dot system that shows a remarkable dependence on B and a due to the long-range Coulomb interaction. We find that the exchange J changes sign at a finite field (leading to a pronounced jump in the magnetization) and then decays exponentially. The magnetization and the spin susceptibilities of the coupled dots are calculated. We show that the dephasing due to nuclear spins in GaAs can be strongly suppressed by dynamical nuclear-spin polarization and/or by magnetic fields.


  • Received 3 August 1998
  • Published in the issue dated 15 January 1999

© 1999 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Guido Burkard* and Daniel Loss

  • Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Basel, Klingelbergstrasse 82, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland

David P. DiVincenzo

  • IBM Research Division, Thomas J. Watson Research Center, P.O. Box 218, Yorktown Heights, New York 10598

  • *Electronic address:
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