Institute of Experimental Mineralogy

Russian Academy of Sciences

Experimental and theoretical research on physical chemistry of minerals, melts and fluids under the conditions of the Earth's crust and mantle, fluid-rock interactions, mineral synthesis. Interdisciplinary research in the areas of physics, chemistry, Earth and environmental sciences, materials synthesis and analysis.

Quick facts

Name: Institute of Experimental Mineralogy, Russian Academy of Sciences

Established: 1969

Director: O.G. Safonov, DSc

location:Chernogolovka, Moscow region

Mail address: 142432, Academica Osypyana ul., 4, Chernogolovka, Moscow region, Russian Federation

Phone :7 (49652) 44425 or 8 (252) 44425, if you call from Moscow
Fax: 7 (49652) 49687 or 8 (252) 49687

e-mail: (Use this address for sending general information for all IEM or if your have problems with mail access to another IEM addresses - no filtering here)

Academic Council

Historical Note

The establishment of the Institute of Experimental Mineralogy within the Russian Academy of Sciences (IEM) was encouraged by a novel approach to the fundamental geological problems developed by D.S.Korzhinskii (1899-1985) and his disciples, as well as by growing demands for theoretical conceptions to be verified experimentally. The brilliant ideas of Korzhinskii have provided the basis for much of the research work being done at the Institute and they still serve as a source of inspiration for many specialists in geological sciences. First experiments were initiated in 1965 by a small group of his followers in a department of the Institute of Solid State Physics. Needless to say that D.S. Korzhinskii was a great scientist. Yet, he was much like a child in business affairs. The burden of organization and management of the Institute was carried by Professor V.A. Zharikov, one of his former students, who was elected Director of the Institute when Korzhinskii had passed away. In 1969 the Institute became a separate establishment of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Since then the team of IEM researchers have led the way to fundamental studies in areas such as magmatism, metamorphism, mantle processes, metasomatism, hydrothermal processes, ore-mineral equilibria, fluid-rock interactions, and other important geological phenomena. The emphasis put on the application of the methods of physical chemistry and thermodynamics to resolve otherwise very arduous problems may be recognized as a characteristic feature of all studies going on at the Institute.

Staff of the institute

The Institute has a staff of about 250 people of whom about 70 are research scientists. Most of the rest provide technical support for the experimental studies. They are busy designing, manufacturing, and maintaining a large number of experimental devices including those ordered by other institutions. At present the scientific staff includes 18 Professors and DSc and 45 PhDs. Some of them hold also faculty positions at the Moscow State University.

The current team of leading scientists and their respective research areas include:

  • Vladimir S. Balitsky, DSc, head of laboratory (crystal growth, gemmology, modifying of natural and synthetic minerals).
  • Nikolai I. Bezmen , DSc, head of group (behavior of mantle meltings)
  • Valentin V. Fed'kin , PhD, Corresponding Secretary of the Institute (metamorphism).
  • Nikolai S. Gorbachev, Dsc
  • Alexei R. Kotel'nikov , DSc, head of laboratory
  • Alexei A. Marakushev, Full Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor, DSc, head of laboratory (petrology, thermodynamics of geological processes).
  • Gennadiy V. Novikov, PhD, head of group (physics of minerals, Moessbauer spectroscopy).
  • Evgeniy G. Osadchii , DSc, Deputy of Director, head of laboratory (thermodynamics of sulfides minerals and solid solutions)
  • Eduard S. Persikov, DSc, head of group (phase relations, structure of mantle magmas, volatile solubilities, viscosity, etc. at high and very high pressures).
  • Yury B. Shapovalov , DSc, Director of the Institute, (experimental modeling of metasomatic phenomena).
  • Vyacheslav M. Shmonov , DSc (permeability of rocks at high pressures and temperatures).
  • Kirill I. Shmulovich , DSc (phase equilibria in fluid systems, thermodynamics of fluid phases, mineral equilibria, fluid inclusions).
  • Click here for viewing all current e-mail addresses in IEM and available Web homepages.

    Experimental Equipment

    The Institute has a very strong department able to design and manufacture all kinds of high-pressure high-temperature equipment needed for scientific experiments. It was vital to focus much attention on in-house manufacturing of high-pressure devices, since there were no industrial enterprises in this country experienced in such a unique production. So, for almost tree decades the Institute has been engaged in designing and manufacturing of the high performance experimental equipment and analyzing advanced materials. Certainly, all high-temperature and high-pressure equipment, listed bellow, have been perfected as a result of many years research and experimentation. That is why there is a constant demand for the equipment built in IEM, including orders from research laboratories and universities in other countries (Sweden, India). The following apparatuses are now available for experimental work:

    Wide range of hydrothermal autoclaves and externally pressurized vessels used typically at 700-800oC and pressure of up to 6-8 Kb.

    Internally heated gas bombs with large internal volume (typically, 1400oC at 5-15 Kb).

    Piston-cylinder apparatuses working at pressure of up to 35 kbars. The anvil-with-hole apparatus (up to 80 Kb). Still higher pressures (up to 250 Kb) are expected to be brought into reach as the split sphere apparatus should be launched yet in the nearest future.

    High-pressure, high-temperature viscosimeter ( up to 15 Kb), that is used to study magmatic melts.

    Combined piston-cylinder and gaseous pressure apparatus used up to 10 Kb.

    Flow-through high-pressure apparatus to study metasomatic zoning and ore concentration processes at temperatures up to 500oC and pressures up to 1.5 Kb.

    High-temperature, high-pressure reaction vessel with the sampling device for studies of hydrothermal fluid systems at 500-600oC and 1-1.5 Kb.

    Deep Sea / Borehole potentiometric probe designed in pursuit of oceanological, geological and geophysical research as well as environmental monitoring. It allows simultaneous measurements of pH, Eh, pS2-, pCL-, pK+, pNa+, pO2, etc. at the ocean depth of about 8000 m and a temperature of up to 250oC

    Variety of high-pressure cells for measurement of X-ray scattering in liquids or for in situ studies of hydrothermal processes (up to 550oC at 1-2 Kb and up to 8 Kb at ambient temperature)

    IR spectroscopy cells for precise measurements of absorption up to 500oC and 1-2 Kb

    Non-corrosive Raman spectroscopy cells working over the range of temperatures and pressures up to 500oC and 1-2 Kb.

    Analytical Facilities

    With funding of science so greatly diminished in recent years, it is getting harder to keep the analytical instrumentation at the Institute up-to-date. Yet, our researches can enjoy opportunities presented by the automated electron microprobe, scanning electron microscopy, wet analytical chemistry, mass spectroscopy, gas chromatography, AAS, Moessbauer spectroscopy, IR and Raman spectroscopy, X-ray powder diffraction. Many of these fields are headed by top-level specialists, who are constantly improving analytical techniques.

    Computer Facilities

    All laboratories are equipped with 386-, 486-, and Pentium-based personal computers. There are also several Sun- and DEC-workstations for large scale computations. All computers have complete network capabilities. Access to external computing facilities is possible over Internet. See also more detail description of IEM network.

    Publishing Activity

    The scientists of IEM publish about 50-70 research papers a year. Most of the research results obtained at the Institute are published in the Proceedings of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Geokhimia (available as Geochemistry International in English translation), Petrologia/Petrology (Russian/English magazine). Recently, more results are getting published in the international journals, such as Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, Advances in Physical Geochemistry, Metamorphic Petrology, Journal of Physical Chemistry, etc. The Institute also publishes a quarterly journal Experiment in Geosciences in English and the Contributions to Physical-Chemical Petrology book series in Russian.

    Concluding Remark

    The Institute of Experimental Mineralogy is always open for scientific cooperation, joint projects and exchange of ideas and scientific experience. Any proposals for helpful collaboration are welcome.