A method of fabricating low-stress dielectric thin film as the supporting material of micromachined devices is reported. The film is processed by post thermal oxidation of silicon-rich nitride (SN) deposited on a silicon substrate by LPCVD. Due to the compensation on the nitride by its top oxide, an ultra-low residual stress less than 10 MPa can be obtained with a proper oxidation scheme. Characteristics of the oxidized nitride were analyzed by Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) and ellipsometry. Large floating membranes of 4/spl times/4 cm/sup 2/ and 400-nm thick can be made by this method with TMAH etching.