A kinetic modeling of the hydrogen interaction with a Pd‐SiO2‐Si (Pd‐MOS) device is reported. The model is fitted to a number of experimental results, mainly from mass spectrometric desorption measurements. The new results verify an older description of the energetics of hydrogen adsorption states at the Pd/SiO2 interface in the sense that the adsorption may be described by a so‐called Temkin isotherm; however, several new findings have to be incorporated into the model in order to obtain a consistent picture. The initial heat of adsorption at the interface is around 0.8 eV/hydrogen atom. The number of adsorption sites at the interface is considerably smaller than at the surface, 6×1017 m-2 versus 1.5×1019 m-2. Furthermore, the interface hydrogen atoms are strongly polarized. An average value of 2 Debye is obtained. It is the large hydrogen polarization at the Pd/SiO2 interface and not a large concentration of adsorbed hydrogen atoms per se which accounts for the very high sensitivity of a Pd‐MOS device as hydrogen sensor. © 1995 American Institute of Physics.