We have measured axially channeled Rutherford backscattering spectra of Si1–xGex nanofilms in silicon(001). A step in the yield of the host crystal was found for off-normal axes at the depth of the nanofilm. The step was measured as a function of the angle between the incoming beam and the  axis and shows two maxima. It is found that Monte Carlo simulations assuming tetragonal distortion reproduce the experimental results. A universal curve was derived which enables determination of the tetragonal distortion from ion-channeling experiments, for a given film thickness. The results are compared with XRD measurements.