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Improved characteristics of compound semiconductor avalanche photodiodes with separated absorption and multiplication regions (SAM) are discussed. Temperature dependences of dark current and breakdown voltage show that the tunneling current in the narrow energy gap layer can be suppressed in InGaAs/InP APD's with the SAM structure. Dark currents above punch-through voltages, at which the depletion layer reaches the InP-InGaAs heterointerface, are caused by the generation-recombination process in the InGaAs and at the heterointerface. Dark currents near breakdown depend on the n-layer thickness and are strongly affected by the electric field strength in the ternary layer. Tunneling currents are dominant in diodes with thin n-InP layers, while the generation-recombination processes in the InGaAs layers are dominant in those with a thick n-InP layer. The dark current was as low as A/cm2at when the interface electric field strength is reduced. A maximum multiplication factor of 60 was observed for the A initial photocurrent. Rise time and full width at half maximum in a pulse response waveform were 100 and 136 ps, respectively, at .