The results of implanting silicon carbide with a 1-MeV proton beam at a dose of 1 × 10-17 cm-2 are presented. Using high-resolution confocal Raman spectroscopy, we analyzed the depth profile of the implantation damage before and after thermal annealing. When it is applied to a high-refractive-index medium, such as SiC, this technique requires careful manipulation to ensure the correct interpretation of results. To this end we discuss a simple ray-tracking model that includes the effects of additional spherical aberration and of the Gaussian intensity profile of the excitation beam. In addition, infrared reflectance measurements show evidence of a well-defined step in the refractive-index profile at the expected implantation depth. © 2004 Optical Society of America.