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The low-frequency noise behavior of polycrystalline silicon thin-film transistors, operated in the avalanche multiplication region of the output characteristics, is investigated. The avalanche-induced current noise, originating from generation-recombination processes in the depletion region of the drain junction, can be described by the carrier number fluctuation model. Using a model for the excess noise in silicon-on-insulator metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors operated in the kink regime, an analytical expression for the avalanche-induced current noise is derived taking into account an exponential distribution of the gap states. Comparison of the experimental noise data with the theoretical model indicates that, in addition to the avalanche multiplication, hot-carrier effects contribute significantly to the current increase in the avalanche regime. © 1999 American Institute of Physics.