Isotopes of mercury
- Mercury isotopes are mainly used in the study of the deposition and emission of Hg in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. In one experiment in Canada three different Hg isotopes (Hg-198, Hg-200 and Hg-202) were used to find out how the route of entry of mercury to an ecosystem affects the amount that becomes accumulated in fish. Several other trials using Hg isotopes are, or have been, undertaken in lakes in the US and Canada. Hg-202 is also used for the production of radioactive Hg-203 which is used for gamma radiation calibration. Mercury isotopes can be obtained from Trace Sciences International.
Naturally occurring isotopes
This table shows information about naturally occuring isotopes, their atomic masses, their natural abundances, their nuclear spins, and their magnetic moments. Further data for radioisotopes (radioactive isotopes) of mercury are listed (including any which occur naturally) below.
||Atomic mass (ma/u)
||Natural abundance (atom %)
||Nuclear spin (I)
||Magnetic moment (μ/μN)
In the above picture, the most intense ion is set to 100% since this corresponds best to the output from a mass spectrometer. This is not to be confused with the relative percentage isotope abundances which total 100% for all the naturally occurring isotopes.
Further data for naturally occuring isotopes of mercury are listed above. This table gives information about some radiosotopes of mercury, their masses, their half-lives, their modes of decay, their nuclear spins, and their nuclear magnetic moments.
||Mode of decay
||Nuclear magnetic moment
||EC to 194Au
||EC to 195Au
||EC to 197Au
||β- to 203Tl
- Naturally occurring isotope abundances: Commission on Atomic Weights and Isotopic Abundances report for the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry in Isotopic Compositions of the Elements 1989, Pure and Applied Chemistry, 1998, 70, 217. [Copyright 1998 IUPAC]
- For further information about radioisotopes see Jonghwa Chang's (Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) Table of the Nuclides
- Masses, nuclear spins, and magnetic moments: I. Mills, T. Cvitas, K. Homann, N. Kallay, and K. Kuchitsu in Quantities, Units and Symbols in Physical Chemistry, Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, UK, 1988. [Copyright 1988 IUPAC]
NMR Properties of mercury
Common reference compound: HgMe2/C6D6.
- R.K. Harris in Encyclopedia of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, D.M. Granty and R.K. Harris, (eds.), vol. 5, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, UK, 1996. I am grateful to Professor Robin Harris (University of Durham, UK) who provided much of the NMR data, which are copyright 1996 IUPAC, adapted from his contribution contained within this reference.
- J. Mason in Multinuclear NMR, Plenum Press, New York, USA, 1987. Where given, data for certain radioactive nuclei are from this reference.
- P. Pyykkö, Mol. Phys., 2008, 106, 1965-1974.
- P. Pyykkö, Mol. Phys., 2001, 99, 1617-1629.
- P. Pyykkö, Z. Naturforsch., 1992, 47a, 189. I am grateful to Professor Pekka Pyykkö (University of Helsinki, Finland) who provided the nuclear quadrupole moment data in this and the following two references.
- D.R. Lide, (ed.), CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics 1999-2000 : A Ready-Reference Book of Chemical and Physical Data (CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, USA, 79th edition, 1998.
- P. Pyykkö, personal communication, 1998, 204, 2008, 2010.
- The isotopic abundances are extracted from the naturally occurring isotopes section within WebElements.