Large-scale integrated fabrication in a H2 containing atmosphere, for example, during the passivation process, can cause serious damage in metal/Pb(Zr,Ti)O3/metal capacitors (i.e., Pt/PZT/Pt capacitors). To reveal the cause of the H2 damage, we investigated the behavior of hysteresis curves and the leakage current of capacitors with a top electrode of Pt, Pd, Au, or Ag. Capacitors with a top electrode of Au or Ag are more resistant to the H2 annealing damage than those of Pt or Pd. We found that the H2 damage was strongly affected by the catalytic activity and adsorptive properties of the top electrode when exposed to H2. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.