A newly designed ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) infrared spectroscopy apparatus dedicated to the spectroscopic characterization of oxides, singles crystals as well as powders, is described. It combines a state-of-the-art vacuum Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrometer (Bruker, VERTEX 80v) with a novel UHV system (PREVAC) consisting of load-lock, distribution, measurement, and magazine chambers. The innovative design allows carrying out both reflection-absorption IR spectroscopy experiments at grazing incidence on well-defined oxide single crystal surfaces and FTIR transmission measurements for powder particles. A further unique feature of the apparatus is the entirely evacuated optical path to avoid background signals from gas phase H2O, CO2, and other species, thus creating the possibility to record high-quality IR data with high sensitivity and stability, an essential prerequisite for monitoring molecular species adsorbed on oxide single-crystal surfaces. The unique performance of this new apparatus with regard to the spectroscopic characterization of adsorbates on oxide single crystals as well as on powder particles is demonstrated by case studies for two different materials, TiO2 and ZnO.

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