Control and monitoring of oxygen fugacity in piston cylinder experiments

  • Vladimir MatjuschkinEmail author
  • Richard A. Brooker
  • Brian Tattitch
  • Jon D. Blundy
  • Charlotte C. Stamper
Original Paper


We present a newly developed capsule design that resolves some common problems associated with the monitoring and control of oxygen fugacity (fO2) in high-pressure piston cylinder experiments. The new fO2 control assembly consists of an AuPd outer capsule enclosing two inner capsules: one of AuPd capsule containing the experimental charge (including some water), and the other of Pt containing a solid oxygen buffer plus water. The inner capsules are separated by crushable alumina. The outer capsule is surrounded by a Pyrex sleeve to simultaneously minimise hydrogen loss from the cell and carbon infiltration from the graphite furnace. Controlled fO2 experiments using this cell design were carried out at 1.0 GPa and 1,000 °C. We used NiPd, CoPd and (Ni, Mg)O fO2 sensors, whose pressure sensitivity is well calibrated, to monitor the redox states achieved in experiments buffered by Re–ReO2, Ni–NiO and Co–CoO, respectively. Results for the fO2 sensors are in good agreement with the intended fO2 established by the buffer, demonstrating excellent control for durations of 24–48 h, with uncertainties less than ± 0.3 log bar units of fO2.


Oxygen fugacity Piston cylinder experiments Hydrogen permeability Capsule design Water activity 



CCS, RAB and JDB were funded by an ERC Advanced Grant (CRITMAG). VM, BT and JDB were funded by a research Grant from BHP Billiton. We would like to acknowledge members of Bristol Experimental Earth Study Group (BEEST) for helpful advice, in particular Dr. Susanne Skora for sharing their personal experience and helping in the lab. H. O’Neill is thanked for his help in conducting ‘JG’ piston cylinder experiments. The assistance of M.C.S. Humphreys in carrying of µXANES analyses is gratefully acknowledged, and we thank C-J. de Hoog for assistance with the SIMS analyses. Comments by JB Balta, RW Luth and an anonymous reviewer are much appreciated.

Supplementary material

410_2015_1105_MOESM1_ESM.doc (6.5 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 6667 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vladimir Matjuschkin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Richard A. Brooker
    • 1
  • Brian Tattitch
    • 1
  • Jon D. Blundy
    • 1
  • Charlotte C. Stamper
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Earth SciencesUniversity of BristolBristolUK

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