Résumé : The energy loss function (ELF) is a key parameter for the calculations of energy losses undergone by electrons in matter. It is often the only input in the calculations performed within the models based on the semi-classical dielectric response theory. Its perfect knowledge is thus of primordial importance. To evaluate the ELF, it is usual to consider as a model an expansion in Drude-Lindhard (DL) type oscillators with fixed values of the strength, width, energy and dispersion for the various oscillators. However, for materials that are characterized by a single sharp oscillator as aluminium or indium, it has been shown [Phys. Rev. B 46 (1992) 2486] that the damping parameter that corresponds in the DL model to the width of the oscillator increases for decreasing incident electron energy. To emphasize this effect, we perform in this work systematic calculation of the ELF for an indium target and for incident electron energies between 200 and 2000-eV. The ELF is determined by comparing REELS (reflection electron energy loss spectroscopy) experimental inelastic electron scattering cross sections with cross sections calculated within the semi-classical dielectric response model, which is implemented in the QUEELS-ε(k,ω)-REELS software (Quantitative analysis of Electron Energy Losses at Surfaces) [Surf. Interface Anal. 36 (2004) 824]. We also perform measurements and calculations for varying incident and exit angles of the electron, namely for angles to the surface normal between 15o and 75o, to check the validity of our results for all geometries. Our results show that the damping parameter of indium in the DL model for electron energy of 200-eV is three times larger than for energy of 2000-eV. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.