Avalanche injection techniques are used to provide hole currents through MOS capacitors and study the trapping of holes in the oxide layer. Although radiation is not in any way involved in these experiments, the trapped positive charge and surface states resulting from hole injection are similar to those obtained using radiation. The processing and oxide thickness dependence of hole trapping phenomena are also investigated. Prolonged post-oxidation annealing treatments are shown to lead to enhanced hole trapping in “hardened” oxides. Hole trapping cross-sections between 10−13 and 10−14 cm2 and trap densities between 1012–1013 cm−2 are measured depending on the processing conditions. The effective charge density is studied over the range of oxide thickness between 200 Å and 600 Å as a function of post-oxidation anneal in these “hardened” oxides. While the effective charge density is only weakly dependent on oxide thickness in unannealed oxides, in annealed oxides it exhibits a strong linear dependence of trapping on oxide thickness. The dependence on post-oxidation anneal time and ambient are also discussed. These results indicate a strong similarity between hole trapping induced by avalanche injection and by radiation. © 1977, IEEE. All rights reserved.