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Name, symbol Fluorine-18,18F
Neutrons 9
Protons 9
Nuclide data
Natural abundance Radioisotope
Half-life 109.771(20) min
Decay products 18Oxygen
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 1.656 MeV

Fluorine-18 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.

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 hydrogen 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 by bombarding oxygen-18 with hydrogen ions. Fluorine-18 is often used to substitute hydrogen due to similar steric properties. This may however be problematic in certain applications due to possible changes in molecule polarity.