We report two high-performance quantum-well infrared photodetectors (QWIPs) using GaAs/AlGaAs digital graded superlattice barriers and InGaAs quantum wells for long-wavelength infrared and broadband (BB) detection. The compositionally digital graded superlattice barriers (DGSLBs) of the QWIP structures were grown using GaAs/AlGaAs digital graded superlattices to form a staircase-like composition-graded barrier layer without adjustment of the source temperature (510 °C) and the AlGaAs composition (15% Al). In the BB DGSLB QWIP, a broad spectral response from 7 to 16 μm wavelength range was obtained under positive bias condition, while a normal spectral response with peak wavelength at 11 μm was obtained under the negative bias condition. In addition, a double-barrier (DB) DGSLB QWIP structure adding a thin (20 Å) undoped Al0.15Ga0.85As on each side of the InGaAs quantum well to form a DB structure for the confinement of electron wave functions in the E4 states was also studied. A peak responsivity of 3 A/W was obtained at Vb = 1 V, T = 35 K, and λp = 12 μm, and normal spectral response was observed in this device. © 1999 American Institute of Physics.