In 1871 Dmitri Mendeleev predicted the existence of gallium (which he named eka aluminum) on the basis of the periodic table. It was not until 1875 that this prediction was confirmed, when gallium was discovered spectroscopically and obtained as the free metal by Lecoq de Boisbaudian. Naturally occurring gallium has two isotopes, 69Ga (60.1% natural abundance) and 71Ga (39.9% natural abundance). Three radioisotopes can be produced, all of which are useful for incorporation into radiopharmaceuticals. Two of these, 66Ga (t- = 9.45 h) and 68Ga (ti = 68 min), decay by P+-emission and are used for PET imaging, and 67Ga (ti = 78 h) decays by y-emission and is used for single photon imaging .
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