In this work the etch-stop behavior of buried layers formed by substoichiometric nitrogen ion implantation into silicon is studied as a function of the processing parameters, the implantation dose and temperature, and the presence of capping layers during implantation. Etching characteristics have been probed using tetramethylammonium hydroxide or KOH solutions for different times up to 6 h. Results show that, after annealing, the minimum dose required for the formation of an efficient etch-stop layer is about 4 × 1017 cm-2, for an implantation energy of 75 keV. This is defined as a layer with an efficient etch selectivity in relation to Si of s ≥ 100. For larger implantation doses efficient etch selectivities larger than 100 are obtained. However, for these doses a considerable density of pits is observed in the etch-stop layer. These are related to the presence of nitrogen poor Si regions in the buried layer after annealing, due to a partial separation of silicon and silicon nitride phases during the annealing process. The influence of this separation of phases as well as nitrogen gettering in the buried layer on the etch-stop behavior is discussed as a function of the processing parameters.