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Sawtooth patterns in the I-V curves of superlattices result from the bistability induced by the negative differential resistance of the local J-F curve. This behavior has been extensively studied in weakly coupled superlattices from a transport point of view. In this paper, we show that the sawtooth patterns not only affect the dark current but also the noise and responsivity properties of a quantum well infrared photodetector. Their impact on the imaging properties of the detector is also quantified.