The density of states at the Fermi level N(E-F) has been measured on hydrogenated polymorphous (pm-Si:H) silicon samples using both capacitance measurements on Schottky barriers and space-charge-limited current measurements on n(+)/i/n(+) structures. From both techniques, N(E-F) values of 7-8 x 10(14) cm(-3) eV(-1) have been obtained, which is significantly lower than reported in the literature for hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H). Such values demonstrate that pm-Si:H is a very low defect density material which should be able to replace a-Si:H in the field of applications like photovoltaics. (C) 1999 American Institute of Physics. [S0003-6951(99)02747-3].