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A direct spectroscopic signature associated with the quantized state of the charge carriers in three-dimensionally confined InP quantum dots (QDs) is reported using a ballistic electron emission microscopy (BEEM)/spectroscopy technique. The self-assembled InP QDs are sandwiched in an AlInP double-barrier heterostructure. The excellent nanometer-scale lateral resolution of the BEEM technique is used to investigate the current transport mechanism by the direct injection of electrons into a single quantum dot. The BEEM spectra taken on and off the dot revealed the presence of a localized state at around 0.1±0.02 eV above the ground state. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.