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This article reports new experimental results on the continuing interface trap generation post-hot hole injection and investigates the generation mechanism. The generation post-hole injection is found to be two orders of magnitude slower than that post-irradiation and cannot be satisfactorily explained by the transportation of hydrogen species across the gate oxide. The role played by the recombination of trapped holes with free electrons is examined. There is a lack of correlation between the trapped hole removal and the interface trap creation, which is against the prediction of the trapped hole conversion model. The results indicate that the interface traps generated during and post-stress originate from two different defects. The defect responsible for post-stress generation is excited by hole injection and then converted into an interface trap if a positive gate bias is applied. It is found that generation in a poly-Si gated metal–oxide–semiconductor field effect transistor behaves differently from that in an Al-gated device. The possible causes for this difference are discussed. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.