Two-color mid wave triple-layer heterojunction HgCdTe detectors were studied using temperature-dependent current–voltage (I–V) measurements, temperature-dependent spectral response measurements, and temperature-dependent noise measurements. The reverse biased dark current shows diffusion-limited behavior for T>125 K. The same data show evidence for generation-recombination-type behavior for the longer wavelength junction at temperatures between 100 and 125 K. For temperatures less than 100 K, the measurements are background limited by photon flux, even though these measurements are performed at nominal zero background. The upper junction shows soft reverse breakdown voltages on the order of about 250 mV, while the bottom junction shows no breakdown for V<500 mV. At 80 K, the R0A product is in excess of 1×106 Ω cm2. In forward bias, the current–voltage characteristics of the lower junction are diffusion limited for all temperatures, while at lower temperatures, the upper junction showed generation-recombination behavior. Optical measurements found a cutoff wavelength of about 4 μm for the lower junction and about 4.5 μm for the upper junction. The spectral crosstalk was less than 3%. At 80 K, the frequency-dependent noise of the shorter wavelength junction showed no dependence on bias, while for the longer wavelength junction, the noise at lower frequencies increased with bias. There is no difference in the noise characteristics when either the photon flux or the temperature is increased. © 1999 American Institute of Physics.