Effect of hydrogenation on memory properties has been studied for metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) structures with Si nanocrystals fabricated using inductively coupled plasma chemical vapor deposition and subsequent annealing. Hydrogenation induces a drastic increase of a dip in the quasistatic capacitance-voltage (C-V) curve of the MOS capacitor, caused by the reduction of the interface states due to hydrogen passivation. This is consistent with high-frequency C-V measurements showing more well-defined curves with less distortion in hydrogenated samples. After hydrogenation, the MOS device shows a significantly larger decrease of flatband voltage shift in electron charging than in hole charging, indicating more effective passivation of the defect states related to the electron charging. A longer retention time is found for electron charging after hydrogenation, but almost no change of charge loss rate for hole charging. These results suggest that an asymmetry exists in the effect of hydrogenation between electron and hole storage. (c) 2006 American Institute of Physics.