Amorphous silicon nitride films deposited from a gas mixture of SiH4 and N2 with a large flow of He have shown many interesting characteristics. The films show a wide variety of electrical, optical, and mechanical properties with varying amounts of SiH4 and N2. The effect of N2 flow rate on film composition in N2-SiH4 processes is quite different from that of NH3 flow in NH3-SiH4 processes. The films were characterized by measurements of (1) Si-H and N-H bond density and bonded hydrogen content, both from infrared absorption, (2) Si/N ratio, (3) refractive index, (4) film stress, and (5) wet chemical etch rate and (6) electrical properties including current-voltage (I-V) and capacitance-voltage (C-V). We find that adding helium to the PECVD process enhances the incorporation of nitrogen in the film and an optimized flow of SiH4 improves the electrical properties. Films with optimum electrical properties with minimum charge trapping are obtained with N/Si ratio close to 1.33. These films have a small amount of Si-H and N-H bonds, and a low etch rate (> 100 A/min) in aqueous HF solution. The properties of these low temperature (250°C) PECVD nitrides have many similarities with LPCVD nitrides. Compared with films deposited from SiH4, NH3 mixture, these films exhibit very low wet etch rates and much lower H contents, but greater hysteresis in C-V characteristics.