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A versatile ultrahigh‐vacuum thin‐film deposition and analysis system is described. Films are deposited by electron beam evaporation with the possibility of ion beam bombardment of the growing film. Measurements of the reflectance and/or transmittance of the coating surface can be made simultaneously at 16 wavelengths across the visible or infrared spectrum. Ellipsometric measurements can also be made in situ, at a single wavelength and single angle of incidence, by an ellipsometer which can operate in either an automatic rotating analyzer mode or a manual nulling mode. The system is also equipped with an ion gun producing a submillimeter spot, and with a hemispherical sector, ion energy analyzer for ion scattering spectroscopy studies of the film surface. Results obtained during the deposition of a gold film are presented to demonstrate the capability of the system.