Barrier layers play an increasingly important role in the semiconductor fabrication process. A niobium nitride barrier for instance can prevent the diffusion of copper in semiconducting devices. 200 nm thin niobium-nitride layers are deposited onto SiO2 substrates via rapid thermal processing (RTP) and are investigated with TEM, EFTEM and EELS. EELS line-scans are recorded and subsequently analyzed with respect to EELS-near-edge fine-structures. The results are then compared with data obtained with other techniques like SNMS and XRD.