The 'to infinitive' has the structure to + verb as in to go, to eat, to ride, etc. The word 'to' is thought to be a preposition. However, since a preposition needs an object and a verb cannot be an object, can 'to' be more of an adverb, since it modifies a verb in the structure? An adverb modifies a verb.
W R T: The word “to” in “to succeed” is a preposition-particle (some call it a particle, others a preposition – these really refer to the same thing); we see the following: A preposition needs an object which is related to a noun or a pronoun in a sentence to satisfy its definition.
An object in a sentence is also usually a noun or a pronoun; though there can be others like the 'that-clause', the 'where- clause, etc. The object receives the action done by the subject.
In a phrase like the following which has the 'to infinitive' [notice that 'to' is part of this verb phrase (and keeping in mind that a preposition usually does not modify a verb)] :i.e; in, I want to go; go is a verb and cannot be the object of the preposition.
In: I look forward to meeting you; 'meeting you' is not an object; etc.
Thus, since the to-infinitive has the structure: to + verb, and the verb cannot be an object- it is more of a state or intention or an action- 'to' in this structure cannot be a preposition. If it is definitely not a preposition then since it modifies a verb, indicating an 'intention', and an adverb by definition modifies a verb, 'to' is an adverb.