Isotopes of fluorine

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Although fluorine (F) has 18 known isotopes from 14F to 31F and one isomer (18mF), only one of these isotopes is stable, that is, fluorine-19; as such, it is a monoisotopic element. The longest-lived radioisotope is 18F with a half-life of 109.771 minutes. All other isotopes have half-lives under a minute, the majority under a second, making fluorine a mononuclidic element as well. The least stable isotope is 15F, whose half-life is 4.1 x 10−22 seconds, corresponding to a spectral linewidth of about 1 MeV. Only 14F has an unknown half-life.

Relative atomic mass: 18.9984032(5)


The nuclide 18F is the radionuclide of fluorine with the longest half-life, 109.771 minutes, allowing it to serve commercially as an important source of positrons. Its major use is for the production of the radiopharmaceutical fludeoxyglucose for positron emission tomography scanning in medicine.

Like all positron-emitting radioisotopes, 18F also has a probability to decay by electron capture. In this case, 18F decays into 18O, 96.86 (19)% of the time by beta plus (positron) emission and 3.14 (19)% by electron capture.[1]

It is the lightest unstable nuclide with equal odd numbers of protons and neutrons, 9 of each. (See also the "magic numbers" discussion of nuclide stability.)[2]


Fluorine-19, the only stable isotope of fluorine. Its abundance is 100%; no other isotopes of fluorine exist in significant quantities. Its binding energy is 147801 keV. Fluorine-19 is NMR-active, so it is used in fluorine-19 NMR spectroscopy.


Fluorine-20, is one of the more unstable isotopes of fluorine. It has a half-life of 11.07 seconds and undergoes beta decay, transforming into its daughter nuclide 20Ne. Its specific radioactivity is 1.885 x 109 TBq/g and has a lifetime of 15.87 seconds.


Fluorine-21, as with fluorine-20, is also one of the most unstable isotopes of this element. It has a half-life of 4.158 seconds. It undergoes beta decay as well, which leaves behind a daughter nuclei of 21Ne. Its specific radioactivity is 4.78 x 109 TBq/g.


Only one nuclear isomer (long-lived excited nuclear state), fluorine-18m, has been characterized.[3] Its half-life before gamma ray emission is 160 nanoseconds. This is less than the decay half-life of any of the fluorine radioisotope nuclear ground states except for mass numbers 14–16, 28, and 31.[3]


Z(p) N(n)  
isotopic mass (u)
half-life decay mode(s)[4] daughter
isotope(s)[n 1]
(mole fraction)
range of natural
(mole fraction)
excitation energy
14F 9 5 14.03506(43)# p 13O 2-#
15F 9 6 15.01801(14) 410(60)×10−22 s
[1.0(2) MeV]
p 14O (1/2+)
16F 9 7 16.011466(9) 11(6)×10−21 s
[40(20) keV]
p 15O 0−
17F 9 8 17.00209524(27) 64.49(16) s β+ 17O 5/2+
18F[n 2] 9 9 18.0009380(6) 109.771(20) min β+ 18O 1+
18mF 1121.36(15) keV 162(7) ns 5+
19F 9 10 18.99840322(7) Stable 1/2+ 1.0000
20F 9 11 19.99998132(8) 11.163(8) s β 20Ne 2+
21F 9 12 20.9999490(19) 4.158(20) s β 21Ne 5/2+
22F 9 13 22.002999(13) 4.23(4) s β (89.0%) 22Ne 4+,(3+)
β, n (11.0%) 21Ne
23F 9 14 23.00357(9) 2.23(14) s β (86.0%) 23Ne 5/2+
β, n (14.0%) 22Ne
24F 9 15 24.00812(8) 400(50) ms β (94.1%) 24Ne (1,2,3)+
β, n (5.9%) 23Ne
25F 9 16 25.01210(11) 50(6) ms β (76.0%) 25Ne (5/2+)#
β, n (24.0%) 24Ne
26F 9 17 26.01962(18) 9.6(8) ms β (68.0%) 26Ne 1+
β, n (32.0%) 25Ne
27F 9 18 27.02676(40) 4.9(2) ms β 27Ne 5/2+#
28F 9 19 28.03567(55)# <40 ns n 27F
29F 9 20 29.04326(62)# 2.6(3) ms β 29Ne 5/2+#
30F 9 21 30.05250(64)# <260 ns
31F 9 22 31.06043(64)# 1# ms [>260 ns] 5/2+#
  1. ^ Bold for stable isotopes
  2. ^ Has medicinal uses


  • Values marked # are not purely derived from experimental data, but at least partly from systematic trends. Spins with weak assignment arguments are enclosed in parentheses.
  • Uncertainties are given in concise form in parentheses after the corresponding last digits. Uncertainty values denote one standard deviation, except isotopic composition and standard atomic mass from IUPAC, which use expanded uncertainties.


  1. ^ [1] F-18 branching ratio for positron emission vs. EC
  2. ^ National Nuclear Data Center. "NuDat 2.1 database – Fluorine-18". Brookhaven National Laboratory. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Audi, G.; Wapstra, A. H.; Thibault, C.; Blachot, J.; Bersillon, O. (2003). "The NUBASE evaluation of nuclear and decay properties" (PDF). Nuclear Physics A. 729: 3–128. Bibcode:2003NuPhA.729....3A. doi:10.1016/j.nuclphysa.2003.11.001. 
  4. ^ "Universal Nuclide Chart". nucleonica. (registration required (help)). 

Isotopes of oxygen Isotopes of fluorine Isotopes of neon
Table of nuclides

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