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The origin of the substrate current of a metal‐oxide‐semiconductor field‐effect transistor when the gate oxide undergoes Fowler–Nordheim stress is investigated. It is also shown that anode hole injection current predicts the breakdown of silicon dioxide between 25 and 130 Å and 2.4 and 12 V. While the measured substrate current is entirely due to anode hole injection for oxides thicker than 55 Å, tunneling by valence‐band electrons contributes to the substrate current in thinner oxides. Valence‐band electron tunneling current is shown to increase with oxide stressing similar to low‐voltage gate oxide leakage; apparently, both are enhanced by trap‐assisted tunneling. For oxides of thickness between 25 and 130 Å, the theory of anode hole injection directly verified for oxides thicker than 55 Å is able to model silicon dioxide breakdown accurately.