The electrical end optical characteristics of a type II double heterojunction (DH) in the GaSb/GaInAsSb/GaAlAsSb system with staggered band alignment were studied. An analysis of the photodiodes performance through the investigation into electrical and optical characteristics was carried out. The dark current mechanisms in the heterostructures were investigated at several temperatures. The experimental results show that at the low temperature region, the tunneling mechanism of the current flow dominates in both forward and reverse biases. At high temperatures region and in the range of voltage from 0.1 V to 1 V, the reverse current was defined by generation of carriers in the depletion region. Have been estimated the temperature coefficient of the shift of the long-wavelength edge of the spectral sensitivity at half-maximum as Delta lambda/Delta T = 1.6 nm/K. Quantum efficiency of 0.6-0.7 for the investigated photodiodes was reached without any antireflection coating. For GaSb/GaInAsSb/GaAlAsSb TPV cells, the internal quantum efficiency of 90% was achieved at wavelengths between 1.2 and 1.6 mu m. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.