This work is motivated by the progress and development in the fields of microelectronics and the resulting ongoing miniaturization of components. The miniaturization can cause new kinds of stress related problems which might influence negatively the reliability and durability of the device. Stresses and changes of the microstructure also influence optical and electronic properties of semiconductors like zinc oxide (ZnO). To understand the behavior and properties of materials on the nano- and microscopic scale, it is important to measure stresses with a high as possible lateral resolution. Raman microscopy was the method of choice as it owns a high spatial resolution, a high data acquisition rate as well as high strain sensitivity. Experiments were performed in one-, two- and three-dimensions focusing on different aspects of stresses and changes of the microstructure. The findings of the work can be divided into two main parts. One part focuses strongly on the method of Raman microscopy itself. The second part concentrates on the measurements of stresses and properties of different materials.