In this work, observed zero-bias offsets in I-V characteristics and differences in J-V characteristics of staircase quantum well infrared photodetectors were investigated. Temperature and voltage sweep rate dependence of the zero-bias offsets were studied on mesa structures shaped in different diameters. Furthermore, effect of mesa diameter on J-V characteristics was investigated. The temperature, initial bias voltage and voltage sweep rate dependence of the zero-bias offsets were explained by a qualitative model, which is based on a RC equivalent circuit of the quantum well infrared photodetector. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.