Oxygen-18

Oxygen-18

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Oxygen-18

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Oxygen-18 (<sup>18</sup>O) is a natural, stable isotope of oxygen and one of the environmental isotopes.

<sup>18</sup>O is an important precursor for the production of fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) used in positron emission tomography (PET). Generally, in the radiopharmaceutical industry, enriched water (H<sub>2</sub><sup>18</sup>O) is bombarded with hydrogen ions in either a cyclotron or linear accelerator creating fluorine-18. This is then synthesized into FDG and injected into a patient. It can also be used to make an extremely heavy version of water, <sup>3</sup>H<sub>2</sub><sup>18</sup>O, or T<sub>2</sub><sup>18</sup>O. This compound has a density almost 30% greater than natural water

Paleoclimatology

In ice cores, mainly Arctic and Antarctic, the ratio O-18/O-16 (δ<sup>18</sup>O) can be used to determine the temperature of precipitation through time. Assuming that atmospheric circulation and elevation has not changed significantly over the poles, the temperature of ice formation can be calculated as equilibrium fractionation between phases of water that is known for different temperatures. Water molecules are also subject to Rayleigh fractionation as atmospheric water moves from the equator poleward which results in progressive...
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