We present scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS) measurements of CdSe nanocrystals covalently attached to doped GaAs substrates using monolayers of 1,6-hexanedithiol. STM measurements showed the formation of stable, densely packed, homogeneous monolayers of nanocrystals. STS measurements showed rectifying behaviour, with high currents at the opposite sample bias to that previously observed for CdSe nanocrystals adsorbed on Si substrates. We explain the rectifying behaviour by considering the interaction between the electronic states of the nanocrystals and the bands in the substrate which are bent under the influence of the strong electric field between the closely separated semiconductor substrate and STM tip. The polarity of the forward bias direction is determined by the alignment of the CdSe electronic states with the semiconductor bands. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.