We have made Na + and He + ions incident on the surface of solid state tunnel junctions and measured the energy loss due to atomic displacement and electronic excitations. Each tunnel junction consists of an ultrathin film metal–oxide–semiconductor device which can be biased to create a band of hot electrons useful for driving chemical reactions at surfaces. Using the binary collision approximation and a nonadiabatic model that takes into account the time-varying nature of the ion–surface interaction, the energy loss of the ions is reproduced. The energy loss for Na + ions incident on the devices shows that the primary energy loss mechanism is the atomic displacement of Au atoms in the thin film of the metal–oxide–semiconductor device. We propose that neutral particle detection of the scattered flux from a biased device could be a route to hot electron mediated charge exchange.