Cobalt: isotope data

Naturally occurring cobalt consists of a single stable isotope: 59Co. Cobalt-59 has spin 7/2. The usual NMR reference is K3[Co(CN)6] in D2O. Cobalt-60 is an artifical isotope, and is an important γ-ray source.

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 cobalt are listed (including any which occur naturally) below.
Isotope Mass / Da Natural abundance (atom %) Nuclear spin (I) Magnetic moment (μ/μN)
59Co 58.9331976 (16) 100 7/2 4.627

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 cobalt are listed above. This table gives information about some radiosotopes of cobalt, 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
55Co 54.942003 17.53 h EC to 55Fe 7/2 4.822
56Co 55.939844 77.3 d EC to 56Fe 4 3.85
57Co 56.936296 271.8 d EC to 57Fe 7/2 4.72
58Co 57.935757 70.88 d EC to 58Fe 2 4.04
60Co 59.933822 5.271 y β- to 60Ni 5 3.799
61Co 60.932479 1.650 h β- to 61Ni 7/2
62Co 61.93405 13.9 m β- to 62Ni 2

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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 cobalt

Common reference compound: K3[Co(CN)6]/D2O.

Table of NMR-active nucleus propeties of cobalt
  Isotope 1 Isotope 2 Isotope 3
Isotope 59Co
Natural abundance /% 100
Spin (I) 7/2
Frequency relative to 1H = 100 (MHz) 23.727072
Receptivity, DP, relative to 1H = 1.00 0.278
Receptivity, DC, relative to 13C = 1.00 1590
Magnetogyric ratio, γ (107 rad T‑1 s-1) 6.332
Magnetic moment, μ (μN) 5.247
Nuclear quadrupole moment, Q/millibarn +420(30)
Line width factor, 1056 l (m4) 0.022


  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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