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We present a systematic theoretical study on optical properties of short-period InAs/GaSb type-II superlattices (SLs) which can serve for midinfrared (MIR) detection. Using the standard Kronig–Penney model we calculate the miniband structure of such SLs. The obtained band-gap energies are in line with those realized experimentally. On the basis of the energy-balance equation derived from the Boltzmann equation we develop a simple approach to calculate the optical absorption coefficient for the corresponding SL systems. Our results agree with recent experimental findings. Moreover, the dependence of MIR absorption in InAs/GaSb type-II SLs on temperature and well width are examined. This study is pertinent to the application of InAs/GaSb type-II SLs as MIR photodetectors working in the ambient condition.