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We model a double quantum dot system defined by a split metal gate over a GaAs/AlGaAs heterostructure, with the dots being coupled via a quantum point contact. Hybridization effects analogous to that of molecules are apparent. However, contrary to some previous studies, we find that there can be a coexistence of “atomic” and “molecular” regimes. The resulting behavior may be utilized to create a device that switches adiabatically, providing a possible route to dissipation-free computing. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.