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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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167 news items

PR Newswire (press release)
Tue, 16 Dec 2014 10:56:15 -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 ...


Wed, 10 Dec 2014 12:15:00 -0800

It sports fluorine-18, which has a longer half-life than C-11 and need not be synthesized on site. Earlier this year, researchers reported that GE180 has a better signal-to-noise ratio than PK11195 when picking up glial activation in a mouse model of ...
Business Wire (press release)
Thu, 04 Dec 2014 04:22:30 -0800

Until now, fluorine-18 or carbon-11 radioisotopes have generally been used to radiolabel biomolecules. The radioisotopes are produced using cyclotrons, large-scale installations which require millions in investment. In contrast, the 68Ge/68Ga generator ...

Saskatoon StarPhoenix

Saskatoon StarPhoenix
Sat, 29 Nov 2014 07:11:02 -0800

"If you are able to combine this molecule with (Fluorine-18), you get an agent called F18-DOPA. That molecule, when you inject it into patients, allows physicians to very accurately distinguish between the patient that has Parkinson's, and the patient ...
Techsonian (press release)
Mon, 15 Dec 2014 04:22:30 -0800

... which are performed to evaluate breast cancer and melanoma; Manocept platform to target the CD206 mannose receptor expressed on macrophages; and NAV4694, an Fluorine-18 radiolabeled positron emission tomography imaging agent, which is used ...
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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