Xenon: isotope data

Of the nine stable Xenon isotopes, several are used in various medical and scientific applications. Xe-124 is used in the production of two radioisotopes: I-123 and I-125. I-123 is used extensively in diagnostic procedures while I-125 is used in the treatment of prostate cancer. Hyperpolarized Xe-129 is used in the magnetic resonance imaging of gas flows in the lungs. Xe-136 has been proposed as a detector for neutrinoless double Beta decay research. Xe-126 can be used as a target for the production of radioactive Ba-128.

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 xenon are listed (including any which occur naturally) below.
Isotope Mass / Da Natural abundance (atom %) Nuclear spin (I) Magnetic moment (μ/μN)
124Xe 123.9058942 (22) 0.09 (1) 0
126Xe 125.904281 (8) 0.09 (1) 0
128Xe 127.9035312 (17) 1.92 (3) 0
129Xe 128.9047801 (21) 26.44 (24) 1/2 -0.777977
130Xe 129.9035094 (17) 4.08 (2) 0
131Xe 130.905072 (5) 21.18 (3) 3/2 0.691861
132Xe 131.904144 (5) 26.89 (6) 0
134Xe 133.905395 (8) 10.44 (10) 0
136Xe 135.907214 (8) 8.87 (16) 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 xenon are listed above. This table gives information about some radiosotopes of xenon, 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
122Xe 121.9086 20.1 h EC to 122I 0
123Xe 122.90848 2.00 h EC to 123I 1/2
125Xe 124.906398 17.1 h EC to 125I 1/2
127Xe 126.905179 36.4 d EC to 127I 1/2 -0.504
133Xe 132.905906 5.243 d β- to 133Cs 3/2 0.813
135Xe 134.90721 9.10 h β- to 135Cs 3/2 0.903

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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 xenon

Common reference compound: XeOF4 + 10% C6D6.

Table of NMR-active nucleus propeties of xenon
  Isotope 1 Isotope 2 Isotope 3
Isotope 129Xe 131Xe
Natural abundance /% 26.4 21.2
Spin (I) 1/2 3/2
Frequency relative to 1H = 100 (MHz) 27.808945 8.244274
Receptivity, DP, relative to 1H = 1.00 0.00571 0.000597
Receptivity, DC, relative to 13C = 1.00 32.6 3.41
Magnetogyric ratio, γ (107 rad T‑1 s-1) -7.452103 2.209076
Magnetic moment, μ (μN) -1.347494 0.8931899
Nuclear quadrupole moment, Q/millibarn -393(10) [Mössbauer state] -114(1)
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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