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Results of irradiation and high field tunnel injection experiments on MOS capacitors are discussed. The midgap voltage shift as a function of dose is caused by hole trapping only. In the case of tunnel injection, the generation of electron-hole pairs by impact ionization requires a much larger electron density and high fields. Thus a model of charge build-up is established which takes into account the hole trapping in neutral oxide states, the subsequent electron trapping in now positively charged states and detrapping of captured electrons. By means of this model, the prediction of the radiation hardness of MOS devices is feasible, provided that the impact ionization coefficient a is known accurately. If this is not the case, the combined techniques of ionizing irradiation and tunnel injection can be utilized to determine Â¿ = Â¿o exp(-HÂ¿/F) as a function of the electrical field F. Electron capture and detrapping crosssections Â¿n and Ãn, resp., can be deduced by fitting the model to the experimental results. An F-3 dependency for Â¿n and an exp(-HÃ/F) dependency for Ãn are found. Only a weak dependence on different processing parameters is observed. The proposed model is verified by a sequence of irradiation and injection steps. The generation of oxide charge is accompanied by an increase in interface state density Dit with a distribution, which peaks at about 0.15 eV above midgap, in both experiments. The results indicate that the generation of interface states is proportional to the amount of trapped holes.