Our work is aimed at enhancing the external quantum efficiency (EQE) of n-i-p photodiodes by reducing the absorption losses in the p-layer and the recombination losses in the p-i interface. We have applied boron-doped and undoped hydrogenated amorphous silicon carbon alloy (a-SiC:H) grown in hydrogen-diluted, silane-methane plasma to both the p-layer and undoped buffer layer, thus tailoring the p-i interface. The current-voltage, capacitance-voltage, and spectral-response characteristics of fabricated photodiodes are correlated with the doping level, optical band gap, and deposition conditions for a-SiC:H layers. The optimized device exhibits a leakage current of about 110 pA/cm2 at the reverse bias of 5 V, and a peak value of 89% EQE at a wavelength of 530 nm. At shorter wavelengths, the EQE decreases down to 56% at a 400 nm wavelength. Calculations of transmission/reflection losses at the front of the photodiode show that observed short-wavelength sensitivity enhancement can be attributed to improved separation of electronhole pairs in the p-layer depletion region.