We report the first observation of the 108Xe→104Te→100Sn α-decay chain. The α emitters, 108Xe [Eα=4.4(2) MeV, T1/2=58+106−23 μs] and 104Te [Eα=4.9(2) MeV, T1/2<18 ns], decaying into doubly magic 100Sn were produced using a fusion-evaporation reaction 54Fe(58Ni,4n)108Xe, and identified with a recoil mass separator and an implantation-decay correlation technique. This is the first time α radioactivity has been observed to a heavy self-conjugate nucleus. A previous benchmark for study of this fundamental decay mode has been the decay of 212Po into doubly magic 208Pb. Enhanced proton-neutron interactions in the N=Z parent nuclei may result in superallowed α decays with reduced α-decay widths significantly greater than that for 212Po. From the decay chain, we deduce that the α-reduced width for 108Xe or 104Te is more than a factor of 5 larger than that for 212Po.
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