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This letter presents a simple approach to characterize process‐induced charging damage in the gate oxide of metal‐oxide‐semiconductor (MOS) devices. The method uses the monitoring of voltage transients during constant‐current stress performed on plasma‐damaged and reference devices. The difference in transients allows direct extraction of the amount of electron traps created in the oxide by charging currents during processing. The method is verified by experimental simulation and applied to extract the density of electron traps introduced in the oxide by process‐induced charging. This technique is a fast and efficient approach to assess device damage and extract physical parameters of generated traps which can be used later for lifetime prediction in reliability simulators. © 1996 American Institute of Physics.