The microstructure of buried layers obtained by medium to high dose nitrogen ion implantation in silicon for etch-stop applications is investigated as a function of the implantation conditions (dose and temperature). Samples are analyzed by TEM, SIMS, FTIR and XPS measurements. The correlation between the data from the different techniques allows to characterize the different layers in the structure, determining the phases induced during the process, the crystalline nature of the layers and the presence of structural defects. The obtained data show the gettering of nitrogen after annealing in both a buried layer around the implantation peak and in the surface region. The nitrogen concentration in these regions and the formation and nature of silicon nitride precipitates show strong dependences with the implantation dose and temperature.