A cryogenic extrinsic silicon detector which can detect IR photons of very low energy, i.e., down to about 5.5 meV ( 220 μm) is presented. The mechanism involves photoexcitation of carriers over low energy interfacial work function barriers at p-i or n-i interfaces in a process analogous to the classic photoelectric effect. Estimates for the responsivity and the detectivity for unoptimized commercial samples containing both p-i and n-i interfaces and a sample containing only a single p-i interface are provided by comparison with a silicon composite bolometer. The range of long wavelength thresholds (λt) observed suggests that this approach can be used to tailor detectors for different IR wavelength regions by changing the dopant impurity and the impurity concentration at levels near the metal-insulator transition. Single interface results confirm the possibility of detector optimization using multilayered structures. This should lead to a unique family of uniform monolithic IR focal plane structures with tailorable and tunable response characteristics within virtually all the IR spectral range of interest.