As optoelectronic devices increase in speed, the measurement system used to characterize these devices must have sufficient bandwidth and minimum parasitic loading during test to accurately determine the intrinsic performance of the device under test. Conventional electrical measurement systems have an intrinsic bandwidth due to the available components for test and have parasitic loading due to direct electrical contact to the device under the test. Electro-optic sampling is an excellent measurement technique for characterizing ultra-fast devices because it has high bandwidth, is non-contact, is non-destructive, and relatively non-invasive. In this paper, an optical fiber-based electro-optic sampling system is designed and used for characterizing high speed InGaAs thin film MSM photodetectors. A fiber laser which is operating at 1556 nm wavelength was used for the sampling and excitation beam. Optical fibers were used to connect each component in the system for flexibility. InGaAs thin film MSM photodetectors were fabricated and characterized. InGaAs thin film MSM photodetectors were bonded onto a coplanar strip line deposited on a benzocyclobutene (BCB)-coated glass substrate for characterization. These thin film photodetectors show high speed operation combined with high responsivity and large detection area compared to P-I-N photodetectors operating at similar speeds© (2004) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.