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The time-domain TLM method is used in conjunction with a 2D drift-diffusion technique to analyze electromagnetically the performance of traveling wave photodetectors as optical heterodyne receivers at 1.55 μm. Photodetectors with absorbing regions consisting of single and multiple quantum well layers are investigated. The obtained results are in good agreement with broadband measurements performed in the sub-millimeter-wave range. The detectors' responsivities are investigated as well.