Barium: isotope data

Barium isotopes are used in a wide variety of fields and applications. Ba-130 is used in the production of Ba-131/Cs-131 which is used in brachytherapy (seeds). Ba-132 can be used for the production of Ba-133 which is used as a gamma reference source. Ba-134 has been used to perform experiments in the field of nuclear physics. Ba-136 has been used to study photon scattering phenomena. Both Ba-136 and Ba-138 have been used in activation cross section experiments. Ba-135 has been used to validate the use of spinor symmetry while Ba-137 has been used in experiments regarding the theory of relativistic coupled clusters. Finally, Ba-138 has been used in studying so-called r- and s-processes in stars.

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 barium are listed (including any which occur naturally) below.
Isotope Mass / Da Natural abundance (atom %) Nuclear spin (I) Magnetic moment (μ/μN)
130Ba 129.906282 (8) 0.106 (1) 0
132Ba 131.905042 (9) 0.101 (1) 0
134Ba 133.904486 (7) 2.417 (18) 0
135Ba 134.905665 (7) 6.592 (12) 3/2 0.837943
136Ba 135.904553 (7) 7.854 (24) 0
137Ba 136.905812 (6) 11.232 (24) 3/2 0.937365
138Ba 137.905232 (6) 71.698 (42) 0

In the above, 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 totals 100% for all the naturally occurring isotopes.

Radiosotope data

Further data for naturally occuring isotopes of barium are listed above. This table gives information about some radiosotopes of barium, their masses, their half-lives, their modes of decay, their nuclear spins, and their nuclear magnetic moments.
Isotope Mass / Da Half-life Mode of decay Nuclear spin Nuclear magnetic moment
128Ba 127.90831 2.43 d EC to 128Cs 0
129Ba 128.90868 2.2 h EC to 129Cs 1/2 -0.40
131Ba 130.90693 11.7 d EC to 131Cs 1/2 0.7081
133Ba 132.906003 10.53 y EC to 133Cs 1/2 0.7717
139Ba 138.908836 1.396 h β- to 139La 7/2 -0.97
140Ba 139.91060 12.75 d β- to 140La 0

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  1. 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]
  2. For further information about radioisotopes see Jonghwa Chang's (Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute) Table of the Nuclides
  3. 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 barium

Common reference compound: BaCl2/D2O.

Table of NMR-active nucleus propeties of barium
  Isotope 1 Isotope 2 Isotope 3
Isotope 135Ba 137Ba
Natural abundance /% 6.592 11.23
Spin (I) 3/2 3/2
Frequency relative to 1H = 100 (MHz) 9.934414 11.112889
Receptivity, DP, relative to 1H = 1.00 0.00330 0.00786
Receptivity, DC, relative to 13C = 1.00 1.88 4.49
Magnetogyric ratio, γ (107 rad T‑1 s-1) 2.65750 2.99295
Magnetic moment, μ (μN) 1.08178 1.21013
Nuclear quadrupole moment, Q/millibarn +160(3) +245(4)
Line width factor, 1056 l (m4) 0.034 0.080


  1. 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.
  2. J. Mason in Multinuclear NMR, Plenum Press, New York, USA, 1987. Where given, data for certain radioactive nuclei are from this reference.
  3. P. Pyykkö, Mol. Phys., 2008, 106, 1965-1974.
  4. P. Pyykkö, Mol. Phys., 2001, 99, 1617-1629.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. P. Pyykkö, personal communication, 1998, 204, 2008, 2010.

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