We report the investigation of free-carrier absorption characteristics for epitaxially grown p-type thin films in the far-infrared region (50 ∼ 200 μm), where homojunction interfacial workfunction internal photoemission (HIWIP) detectors are employed. Five Si and three GaAs thin films were grown by MBE over a range of carrier concentrations, and the experimental absorption data were compared with calculated results. The freehole absorption is found to be almost independent of the wavelength. A linear regression relationship between the absorption coefficient and the carrier concentration, in agreement with theory, has been obtained and employed to calculate the photon absorption probability in HIWIP detectors. The detector responsivity follows the quantum efficiency predicted by concentration dependence of the free carrier absorption coefficient.