In this paper, electrical and reliability properties of ultrathin silicon dioxide, grown by immersing silicon in nitric acid solution have been studied. It is observed that the temperature, oxidation time, and concentration of the nitric acid solution play important roles in determining the thickness as well as the quality of the oxide. Prolonged exposure to nitric acid degrades the quality of the oxide. However, it was found necessary to reduce the oxidation temperature and the concentration of nitric acid to grow oxide of thickness < 2 nm. In these conditions, the leakage current and fixed oxide charge in the chemical oxide were found to be too high. However, when this chemical oxidation was followed by anodic oxidation using ac bias, the electrical and reliability characteristics of metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) devices showed tremendous improvement. MOSFETs with gate oxide grown by this technique have demonstrated low subthreshold slope, high transconductance and channel mobility. It is thus proposed that chemical oxidation followed by ac anodization can be a viable alternative low-temperature technique to grow thin oxides for MOS application. © 2007 IEEE.