Gadolinium: isotope data

Gadolinium has the highest cross section for the capture of thermal neutrons of any element and this is mainly due to the high cross section of Gd-157 (255,000 barn) and Gd-155 (61,000 barn). Natural Gadolinium is currently used as a burnable poison in nuclear fuel, but the use of Gd-155/157 only has been proposed as this would create an even more effective burnable poison. Gd-152 is used for the production of radioactive Gd-153 which is used for osteoporosis research and bone density measurements. Gd-160 is used in double beta decay research.

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 gadolinium are listed (including any which occur naturally) below.
Isotope Mass / Da Natural abundance (atom %) Nuclear spin (I) Magnetic moment (μ/μN)
152Gd 151.919786 (4) 0.20 (1) 0
154Gd 153.920861 (4) 2.18 (3) 0
155Gd 154.922618 (4) 14.80 (12) 3/2 -0.2591
156Gd 155.922118 (4) 20.47 (9) 0
157Gd 156.923956 (4) 15.65 (2) 3/2 -0.3399
158Gd 157.924019 (4) 24.84 (7) 0
160Gd 159.927049 (4) 21.86 (19) 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 gadolinium are listed above. This table gives information about some radiosotopes of gadolinium, 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
146Gd 145.91831 48.3 d EC to 146Eu 0
147Gd 146.919090 1.588 d EC to 147Eu 7/2 1.0
148Gd 147.91811 75 y α to 144Sm 0
149Gd 148.919339 9.3 d EC to 149Eu; α to 145Sm 7/2 0.9
150Gd 149.91866 1.8 x 106 y α to 146Sm 0
151Gd 150.920345 124 d EC to 151Eu; α to 147Sm 7/2 0.8
153Gd 152.921747 241.6 d EC to 153Eu 3/2 0.4
159Gd 158.926385 18.6 h β- to 159Tb 3/2 -0.44

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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 gadolinium

Common reference compound: .

Table of NMR-active nucleus propeties of gadolinium
  Isotope 1 Isotope 2 Isotope 3
Isotope 155Gd 157Gd
Natural abundance /% 14.80 15.65
Spin (I) 3/2 3/2
Frequency relative to 1H = 100 (MHz) about 3.07 about 4.03
Receptivity, DP, relative to 1H = 1.00 - -
Receptivity, DC, relative to 13C = 1.00 - -
Magnetogyric ratio, γ (107 rad T‑1 s-1) -0.82132 -1.0769
Magnetic moment, μ (μN) -0.33208 -0.43540
Nuclear quadrupole moment, Q/millibarn +1270(30) and -440(20) [Mössbauer state] +1350(30)
Line width factor, 1056 l (m4)


  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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