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Atomic force microscopy with a conductive probe has been used to study both the topography and the electronic properties of 10-nm-scale self-assembled InAs quantum dots (QDs) grown by molecular beam epitaxy on n-type GaAs. The current flowing through the conductive probe normal to the sample surface is measured for imaging local conductance, while the deflection of cantilever is optically detected for disclosing geometrical structure. The conductance on InAs QDs is found to be much larger than that on the wetting layer, allowing imaging of QDs through measurements of local current. We attribute this change in conductance to the local modification of surface band bending associated with surface states on InAs QD surface. Mechanisms of electron transport through QDs are discussed based on current–voltage characteristics measured on QDs of various sizes. © 1999 American Institute of Physics.