A requirement of many surface science studies is the capability to alter a sample temperature in a controlled mode. Sample preparation procedures such as heating or cooling ramps, high temperature spikes, fast annealing, or simply maintaining a sample at a very high, or very low, temperature are common. To address these issues, we describe the design and the construction of a multipurpose sample holder. Key points of this design are operation in an extended temperature range from liquid nitrogen (LN(2)) temperature to similar to 1300 K, temperature control during heating and cooling, low thermal inertia with rates up to 50 K s(-1) (heating) and -20 K s(-1) (cooling), and small heated volume to minimize background problems in thermal desorption spectroscopy (TDS) spectra. With this design the sample can be flash heated from LN(2) temperature to 1300 K and cooled down again in less than 100 s. This sample holder was mounted and tested in a multitechnique apparatus and adds a large number of sample preparation procedures as well as TDS to the list of already available surface analysis techniques.