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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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168 news items

Mon, 26 Jan 2015 05:30:00 -0800

A fused PET-CT image of the new phantom with its traceably calibrated amount of fluorine-18 (orange). The circular objects are the MR-visible test spheres; in this PET-CT image they appear as regions with no PET response. As cancer diagnostic tools, a ...
PR Newswire UK (press release)
Wed, 28 Jan 2015 09:15:00 -0800

Market is segmented by type of radioisotopes (Technetium-99m (TC-99m), Thallium-201 (TL-201), Iodine (I-123), Fluorine-18, Rubidium-82 (RB-82) and others). By application market is segmented into (cardiology, lymphoma, thyroid, neurology oncology, and ...


Tue, 27 Jan 2015 06:03:45 -0800

In an article in JAMA Neurology, Craig Curtis, MD and colleagues report on a multicenter PET imaging study on terminally ill dementia patients using flutemetamol injections tagged with radioactive fluorine 18. In cases where autopsy was later possible ...


Thu, 01 Jan 2015 11:09:45 -0800

One such material is fluorine-18. Fluorine-18 comprises nine protons and nine neutrons, but not for long; soon it slides down the periodic table of elements, one of its protons turning into a neutron via radioactive decay. The type of decay is called ...


Thu, 01 Jan 2015 14:08:40 -0800

GE180, a fluorine-18 ligand that binds a mitochondrial transporter protein and labels activated microglia in mouse brain, is being tested in healthy volunteers and in people with AD and relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis (see Dec 2014 conference ...
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 ...

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