A Tougaard background deconvolution analysis of the x-ray photoelectron spectra of an a-Si1-xCx:H film deposited on a silicon substrate by the radio-frequency plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition method has been performed. The analysis indicates that carbon and silicon atoms inhabit an exponentially decreasing concentration profile from the surface with different characteristic attenuation lengths. Oxygen has also been incorporated in the film with a similar concentration profile. The differential inelastic scattering cross section for the deconvolution has been obtained from reflection electron energy-loss spectroscopy. This nondestructive depth profile analysis appears to be a powerful tool for determining the uniformity of deposition of such films.