# Spin-orbit coupling and time-reversal symmetry in quantum gates

## Abstract

We study the effect of spin-orbit coupling on quantum gates produced by pulsing the exchange interaction between two single-electron quantum dots. Spin-orbit coupling enters as a small spin precession when electrons tunnel between dots. For adiabatic pulses the resulting gate is described by a unitary operator acting on the four-dimensional Hilbert space of two qubits. If the precession axis is fixed, time-symmetric pulsing constrains the set of possible gates to those which, when combined with single qubit rotations, can be used in a simple controlled-NOT construction. Deviations from time-symmetric pulsing spoil this construction. The effect of time asymmetry is studied by numerically integrating the Schrödinger equation using parameters appropriate for GaAs quantum dots. Deviations of the implemented gate from the desired form are shown to be proportional to dimensionless measures of both spin-orbit coupling and time asymmetry of the pulse. © 2003 The American Physical Society.