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Fluorine-18 decay.svg

Decay over 24 hours

Name, symbol Fluorine-18,18F
Neutrons 9
Protons 9
Nuclide data
Natural abundance Radioisotope
Half-life 109.771(20) min
Decay products 18O
Isotope mass 18.0009380(6) u
Spin 1+
Excess energy 873.431± 0.593 keV
Binding energy 137369.199± 0.593 keV
Decay mode Decay energy
Positron emission (97%) 0.6335 MeV
Electron capture (3%) 1.6555 MeV

Fluorine-18 (18F) is a fluorine radioisotope which is an important source of positrons. It has a mass of 18.0009380(6) u and its half-life is 109.771(20) minutes. It decays by positron emission 97% of the time and electron capture 3% of the time. Both modes of decay yield stable oxygen-18.

Fluorine-18 is an important isotope in the radiopharmaceutical industry, and is primarily synthesized into fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) for use in positron emission tomography (PET scans). It is substituted for hydroxyl and used as a tracer in the scan. Its significance is due to both its short half-life and the emission of positrons when decaying. In the radiopharmaceutical industry, it is made using either a cyclotron or linear particle accelerator to bombard a target, usually of pure or enriched oxygen-18-water [1] with high energy protons (typically ~18 MeV protons).

Fluorine-18 is often substituted for a hydroxyl group in a radiotracer parent molecule, due to similar steric and electrostatic properties. This may however be problematic in certain applications due to possible changes in molecule polarity.


  1. ^ Fowler J. S. and Wolf A. P. (1982) The synthesis of carbon-11, fluorine-18 and nitrogen-13 labeled radiotracers for biomedical applications. Nucl. Sci. Ser. Natl Acad. Sci. Natl Res. Council Monogr. 1982.

Fluorine-18 is an
isotope of fluorine
Decay product of:
Decay chain
of fluorine-18
Decays to:

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152 news items

PR Newswire UK (press release)
Fri, 24 Oct 2014 05:04:15 -0700

‎Eckert & Ziegler has several radiopharma production locations in Germany and besides fluorine-18-based radiodiagnostics for nuclear imaging (PET), also distributes the approved product Yttriga®, a precursor to countless radiotherapy products. Globally ...
Diagnostic Imaging
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 11:35:49 -0700

An intractable foe of what makes people what they are suddenly seems vulnerable, and it is imaging that has struck the blow. In a clinical trial at Johns Hopkins University, a PET agent built around fluorine-18 readily and safely distinguished the ...
Chemistry World
Tue, 24 Aug 2010 08:02:48 -0700

Making compounds that contain the useful radioisotope fluorine-18 (18F) could be much easier in future, say researchers in the UK and Finland. The team integrated the isotope into a popular fluorinating agent called Selectfluor, which opens up a wide ...
Chemistry World
Thu, 03 Nov 2011 11:56:15 -0700

A palladium-containing fluorination reagent can be used to quickly synthesise aromatic molecules labelled with fluorine-18, a positron emitter used in molecular imaging. The electrophilic reactions catalysed by the palladium compound allow fluorination ...
JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 13:04:58 -0700

To the Editor Dr Moulton and colleagues1 concluded that positron emission tomography (PET) combined with computed tomography (CT) compared with diagnostic CT alone did not significantly change the management of patients with potentially resectable ...
Big Ten Network
Thu, 22 May 2014 03:00:57 -0700

DiMagno has developed a process to attach the radioactive isotope fluorine-18 to different carrier molecules. This in turn allows a PET scanner to detect a compound's metabolic rate. However, the research must expand beyond just the PET agents to other ...


Thu, 07 Aug 2014 21:07:30 -0700

Particularly, PET with fluorine-18 (18F)-labeled 2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose tracer and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) have been widely used to monitor changes in brain metabolism over time, identify the risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD) ...
Mon, 10 Mar 2014 10:40:08 -0700

The glutamine, labeled with the positron-emitting radioactive isotope fluorine-18, could "serve as a new metabolic marker for probing glutamine-addictive tumors not detected by FDG-PET," said investigator Hank Kung, PhD, emeritus professor of radiology ...

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