We have characterized RPECVD formation of Si-nitride films by relating the chemical bonding in the deposited films to the growth conditions. Gas flow rates for different N- and Si-atom source gases have been correlated with (i) the film stoichiometry, i.e., the Si/N ratio, and the (ii) the growth rate. N2 and NH3 were used as N-atom source gases, and were either delivered (i) up-stream through the plasmageneration tube, or (ii) down-stream. Different flow-rate ratios of NH3/SiH4 were found for deposition of stoichiometric Si-nitride films using up-stream or down-stream introduction of NH3. This is explained in terms of competition between excitation and recombination processes for the N-atom precursor species. Stoichiometric nitride films could not be obtained using the N2 source gas for (i) either up-stream or down-stream delivery, and (ii) for plasma powers up to 50 W. This is attributed to the higher relative binding energy of N-atoms in N2 compared to NH3, and to significant N-atom recombination at high N2 flow rates through the plasma generation region.