The growth of high-quality dielectric films from Electron Cyclotron Resonance (ECR) plasmas provides for low-temperature surface passivation of compound semiconductors. Silicon nitride (SiNx) films were grown at temperatures from 30°C to 250°C on GaAs substrates. The stress in the films was measured as a function of bias applied during growth (varied from 0 to 200 V), and as a function of sample annealing treatments. Composition profiles of the samples were measured using ion beam analysis. The GaAs photoluminescence (PL) signal after SiNx growth without an applied bias (ion energy = 30 eV) was twice as large as the PL signal from the cleaned GaAs substrate. The PL signal from samples biased at -50 and -100 V indicated that damage degraded the passivation quality, while atomic force microscopy of these samples showed a three fold increase in rms surface roughness relative to unbiased samples. The sample grown with a bias of-200 V showed the largest reduction in film stress but also the smallest PL signal.