Lithium Isotopes - Radioactive Decay and Half-Life

Facts About the Isotopes of Lithium

Lithium Atom, illustration
CAROL & MIKE WERNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / Getty Images

All lithium atoms have three protons but could have between one and eight neutrons. There are eight known isotopes of lithium, ranging from Li-4 to Li-11. Many lithium isotopes have multiple decay paths depending on the overall energy of the nucleus and its total angular momentum quantum number. This table lists the known isotopes of lithium, their half-life, and type of radioactive decay. Isotopes with multiple decay schemes are represented by a range of half-life values between the shortest and longest half-life for that type of decay.



Reference: International Atomic Energy Agency ENSDF database (Oct 2010)

IsotopeHalf-LifeDecay
Li-44.9 x 10-23 seconds - 8.9 x 10-23 secondsp
Li-55.4 x 10-22 secondsp
Li-6Stable
7.6 x 10-23 seconds - 2.7 x 10-20 seconds
N/A
α, 3H, IT, n, p possible
Li-7Stable
7.5 x 10-22 seconds - 7.3 x 10-14 seconds
N/A
α, 3H, IT, n, p possible
Li-80.8 seconds
8.2 x 10-15 seconds
1.6 x 10-21 seconds - 1.9 x 10-20 seconds
β-
IT
n
Li-90.2 seconds
7.5 x 10-21 seconds
1.6 x 10-21 seconds - 1.9 x 10-20 seconds
β-
n
p
Li-10unknown
5.5 x 10-22 seconds - 5.5 x 10-21 seconds
n
γ
Li-118.6 x 10-3 secondsβ-
 
α
β-
γ
3H
IT
n
p
alpha decay
beta- decay
gamma photon
hydrogen-3 nucleus or tritium nucleus
isomeric transition
neutron emission
proton emission
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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Lithium Isotopes - Radioactive Decay and Half-Life." ThoughtCo, Feb. 15, 2017, thoughtco.com/lithium-isotopes-radioactive-decay-half-life-608238. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2017, February 15). Lithium Isotopes - Radioactive Decay and Half-Life. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/lithium-isotopes-radioactive-decay-half-life-608238 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Lithium Isotopes - Radioactive Decay and Half-Life." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/lithium-isotopes-radioactive-decay-half-life-608238 (accessed January 19, 2018).