Abstract The metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) field effect transistor (FET) using ‘oxidized μ c-Si/ultrathin oxide’ gate structure was studied. It was found that this structure shows negative differential resistance behavior, which can be explained by the Coulomb blockade effect of trapped carriers and immediate tunneling into and tunneling out with gate bias variation. The requirements for the device with this structure showing negative differential resistance behavior are based on very weak resistive coupling between floating gate and channel. They are the thinness of the tunnel oxide film, the thickness ratio of the upper oxidized film and the tunnel oxide, and the channel threshold voltage. MOSFET with this gate structure is proposed as a new negative differential resistance device.