In this paper, we present calculations of the absorption coefficient for transitions between the bound states of quantum dots grown within a semiconductor and the extended states of the conduction band. For completeness, transitions among bound states are also presented. In the separation of variables, single band k·p model is used in which most elements may be expressed analytically. The analytical formulae are collected in the appendix of this paper. It is concluded that the transitions are strong enough to provide a quick path to the conduction band for electrons pumped from the valence to the intermediate band. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.