© 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd.We report on the opto-electronic characterization of an InAs/GaSb superlattice (SL) midwave infrared p-i-n photodetector structure (pin-SL) in comparison with the same structure with no intentional doping (i-SL). Both structures were grown on an n-GaSb substrate using molecular beam epitaxy. The nominally undoped structure (i-SL) presented p-i-n like behavior and showed a photovoltaic mode photoresponse due to the residual doping and native defects in this material system. For ∼77 K operation, 0.76 and 0.11 A W-1 responsivity values were obtained at 4 μm from the pin-SL and i-SL structures, respectively. Activation energy analysis showed that the recombination current was dominant in both structures but different recombination centers were involved. The same i-SL structure was also grown on a semi-insulating (SI)-GaAs substrate to study the contribution of the substrate to the carrier density in the SL layers. Temperature dependent Hall effect measurements showed that the nominally undoped structure presented both n-type and p-type conductivities; however, the temperature at which the carrier type switched polarity was observed to be at higher values when the i-SL structure was grown on the SI-GaAs substrate. In addition, a higher carrier density was observed for i-SL on the GaSb substrate than on the GaAs substrate.