On-area wire bonding of HgCdTe photoconductive (PC) infrared detectors usually causes material damage underneath the bonding pads. Such damage may propagate into the active area, potentially degrading performance and posing long-term reliability problems. Some off-area bonding fabrication techniques can also induce some degree of semiconductor material damage. In this paper, we report a relatively straightforward off-area bonding scheme that solves these problems. The process uses multiple photolithography and chemical etching steps to create a continuous slope or staircase in the HgCdTe leading down to the epoxy surface. The staircase ensures smooth step coverage for the subsequent metalization. Tri-layer photolithography (resist /metal/resist) and reactive ion etching (RIE) is then used to remove the epoxy in the bonding pad area. Since all areas other than the pad region are protected by the metal film, no RIE radiation damage is induced to the active area. The contact metalization is achieved by using standard liftoff techniques. Our so called staircase off-area bonding fabrication technique can be used to fabricate highly reliable, high density, small-size, detector arrays.