Abstract The basic assumptions of a recent model of the rapid initial oxidation of silicon put for-wara by Schafer and Lyon are examined. It is found that some of their hypothesis is inconsistent with existing experimental data. Instead, our previous model on initial oxidation can be used to explain the experimental data satisfactorily. The charge density at the interface and the equilibrium concentration of oxygen in the oxide are estimated based on this model, they agree well with measured results. These comparisons suggest that our previous model of oxidation give an overall satisfactory picture of the rapid initial thermal oxidation process of silicon.