Inelastic-electron-scattering measurements from Si(111)-7×7 and thin metal films on Si(111) are obtained for several different temperatures and analyzed with use of dipole scattering theory. A detailed discussion of the shape and temperature dependence of the quasielastic peak is presented. In particular, we show how the temperature-dependent width of the quasielastic peak can be used to obtain information regarding the surface free-carrier density, surface effective mass, and the surface conductivity. Analysis of the Si(111)-7×7 surface suggests an unusual surface electronic structure where a narrow state occurs within a surface-state band gap and determines the Fermi-level position. Analysis of Au and Pd metal films on Si(111) allows us to determine film resistivities as well as delineate microstructural features which influence surface transport properties. © 1984 The American Physical Society.