Thin silicon oxynitride (SiOxNy) and silicon-rich silicon-oxide (SiOx,x⩽2) films of varying composition have been deposited by electron cyclotron resonance plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition. Films were deposited using various source gas flow rates while maintaining a constant chamber pressure. Thicknesses and refractive indices for these films were determined using ellipsometry. Bonding of the constituent atoms was analyzed using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. FTIR spectroscopy also allowed for the detection of bonded species such as hydrogen. Compositional characteristics were determined using various forms of ion beam analysis such as Rutherford backscattering and elastic recoil detection. These analysis techniques were used to determine the values of x and y, the molar fractions of oxygen and nitrogen, respectively, and the total amount of hydrogen present in the films. Using the results obtained from these methods the film characteristics were determined as a function of the deposition conditions.