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Properties and data of the isotope 17O.



Oxygen-17 isotope

Oxygen-17 is a stable isotope of the chemical element oxygen. The atomic nucleus of the nulide consists of 8 neutrons and the 8 protons specific to the element; The sum of these nucleons gives them a mass number of 17.

See also: list of Oxygen isotopes.


General data

Name of the isotope:Oxygen-17; O-17Symbol:17O or 178OMass number A:17 (= number of nucleons)Atomic number Z:8 (= number of protons)Neutrons N:9Isotopic mass:16.999131757(5) u (atomic weight of Oxygen-17)Nuclide mass:16.9947431 u (calculated nuclear mass without electrons)Mass excess:-0.80876 MeVMass defect:0.141452743 u (per nucleus)Nuclear binding energy:131.76238139 MeV (per nucleus)
7.75072832 MeV (average binding energy per nucleon)
Separation energy:SN = 4.14308(0) MeV (first neutron)
SP = 13.7816(23) MeV (first proton)
Half-life:stableSpin and parity:
(nuclear angular momentum)
5/2+Isobaric spin: 1/2Magnetic dipole moment:μ(μN) = -1.893543(10)Charge radius:2.6932(75) femtometer fmMirror nucleus:Fluorine-17Year of discovery:1925


Parent Nuclides

Direct parent isotopes are: 17N, 17F.



Comparison of the natural Oxygen isotopes including isotopic abundance (mole fraction of the isotope mixture in percent):


Atomic Mass maQuantityHalf-lifeSpin
Isotopic mixture
15.999 u100 %
Isotope 16O15.994914620(2) u99.757 %
[99.738 - 99.776 %]
Isotope 18O17.999159613(6) u0.2045 %
[0.187 - 0.222 %]
Isotope 17O16.999131757(5) u0.03835(96) %
[0.0367 - 0.0400 %]


NMR data

Nuclear magnetic properties of the NMR active Nuclide 17O

Isotope:17O-NMRQuantity:0.03835(96) % [0.0367 - 0.0400 %]Spin:5/2+Nuclearmagnetic moment
-1.893543(10)Gyromagnetic ratio γ:- 3.6279 · 107 rad T-1 s-1Nuclear g-factor:gl = -0.7574172Quadrupole moment Q:- 0.02558(22) barn (100 fm2)Resonance frequency:v0 = 5.7742 at 1 TFrequency ratio:Ξ(17O) = 13.556457 %Relative Sensitivity:0.02910 (H0 = const.)
1.5822 (v0 = const.)
[related to 1H = 1.000]
Reference compound:
Pure deuterium oxide (D2O, neat).

Although oxygen-17 is an O isotope with low abundance, due to its spin it is the only one that can be used in NMR measurements (17O NMR spectroscopy). 17O is quadrupolar with a spin quantum number of I = 5/2 and therefore provides broad NMR signals. The negative magnetogyric ratio γ results from the opposite direction of nuclear spin and magnetic moment. Taking the natural frequency into account, the absolute sensitivity of the 17O results in a value of 0.0000108.

Overall, 17O is much more difficult to handle for NMR spectroscopy than other isotopes. However, newer technical methods and developments have made the use of the isotope in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy much easier. NMR spectroscopy of biomolecules is particularly interesting in this context, as O atoms often appear as links between different structures and functional groups - for example in proteins; And oxygen is a component of hydrogen bonds, so 17O-NMR can be used excellently for studying three-dimensional structures - such as protein folding [2].

Further application examples: Investigation of processes for CO2 capture [3], investigation of cathode materials of lithium-ion batteries [4].


Isotones and Isobars

The following table shows the atomic nuclei that are isotonic (same neutron number N = 9) and isobaric (same nucleon number A = 17) with Oxygen-17. Naturally occurring isotopes are marked in green; light green = naturally occurring radionuclides.


OZIsotone N = 9Isobar A = 17


External data and identifiers

Adopted Levels, Gammas:NuDat 17O


Literature and References

[1] - Ioannis P. Gerothanassis:
Oxygen-17 NMR spectroscopy: Basic principles and applications.
In: Progress in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, 56, 2, 95-197, (2010), DOI 10.1016/j.pnmrs.2009.09.002.

[2] - Martin F. Miller; Andreas Pack:
Why Measure 17O? Historical Perspective, Triple-Isotope Systematics and Selected Applications.
In: Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry, (2021), DOI 10.2138/rmg.2021.86.01.

[3] - Srinivasan Muniyappan, Yuxi Lin, Young-Ho Lee, Jin Hae Kim:
17O NMR Spectroscopy: A Novel Probe for Characterizing Protein Structure and Folding.
In: Biology, 10(6), (2021), DOI 10.3390/biology10060453.

[4] - Astrid Berge et al.:
Revealing Carbon Capture Chemistry with 17-Oxygen NMR Spectroscopy.
In: ChemRxiv, (2021), DOI 10.26434/chemrxiv-2021-09vcw.

[5] - Euan N. Bassey, Philip J. Reeves, Ieuan D. Seymour, Clare P. Grey:
17O NMR Spectroscopy in Lithium-Ion Battery Cathode Materials: Challenges and Interpretation.
In: Journal of the American Chemical Society, 144, 41, 18714-18729, (2022), DOI 10.1021/jacs.2c02927.


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Last update: 2023-12-06

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