Substances and Particles A-E


Substance/Particle Submission Form


In order to explain away otherwise inexplicable phenomena (or just due to a lack of better scientific education) Star Trek writers frequently introduce substances or particles, which do not exist in the real world - or are not yet discovered or invented. Only few of these substances or particles are used repeatedly and consistently. Many of them were mentioned only once, and the next time a different exotic particle was responsible for a very similar effect. Nevertheless, it is worth the effort to list all these substances or particles, to attempt a classification and summarize their properties. This list is strictly based on canon facts and therefore the description of most items leaves more questions than it can answer.

The classification used in the following is not always clear-cut. But usually we can notice the difference between particles (which have some physical effect) and compounds (which have chemical or medical effects or are used to build something). Also, something ending on -ium is customarily supposed to be an element, whereas -(i)on mostly stands for elementary particles. De Broglie's particle-wave equivalence may save us from deciding between particles and energy. Finally, the list includes some real-world items too which are noted as such - although some particles in Star Trek behave very differently from their real-world cousins.

Chemical element or isotope

Chemical compound or alloy

Real-world reference

Elementary particle

Energy field or radiation

Other concept




Naturally occurring. Neurotransmitter. In real life, also a neurotransmitter produced by the brain.


Artificially generated by crew. Gaseous chemical. Toxic to humans, essential to "evolved" humans. "Acidichloride" is the official spelling in the Star Trek Encyclopedia. The substance has previously been identified as "acid dichloride", which might stand for H2Cl2, but such a molecule would break down into HCl (hydrochloric acid). Hydrogen and chlorine combine 1:1, and chemicals tend to separate into the lowest possible number of atoms. Acidichloride, in contrast, may be actually a short name of something different, although it may be subject to confusion.


Naturally occurring. Actinides are known to interfere with Federation sensors. Actinides or actinoids: group of radioactive elements in the 6th period of the periodic table of elements.


Naturally occurring or artificially generated by crew. A hormone used as a treatment for radiation damage. The real-life hormone.


Artificially generated by crew. A Klingon medicine used to treat an anaphylactic shock.


Artificially generated by crew. A narcotic used by Starfleet, leads to unconsciousness.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann

Amniotic fluid

Naturally occurring. Organic matter. In real life, protects embryos from disease while in the womb.


Naturally occurring. May be used to create a powerful explosive, together with yurium.


Artificially generated by crew. A general anesthetic. Fatal if present in the air.

Anionic energy

Naturally occurring. May influence brain functions.


Artificially generated by crew. Increases the organism's tolerance to alcohol.


Artificially generated by crew. Cancels out chroniton particles.


Artificially generated by crew. Destroys viruses. In real medicine, a substance that triggers an immune response. May be natural or synthetically produced.


Artificially generated by aliens. Particle that deflects transporter beams. In real life, a graviton, a particle whose existence is only proven indirectly, is its own antiparticle. That is, an antigraviton would actually be a normal graviton.


Artificially generated by aliens. Antilepton interference may prevent communications. Antileptons actually exist, as a collective name for the antiparticles of leptons.


Artificially generated by crew or by aliens. Generated to power warp engines. May occur naturally in real life. Matter whose electrical charge properties are the opposite of "normal matter." It is not yet well understood why the universe is made overwhelmingly of matter yet most reactions produce matter and antimatter equally. The imbalance could have started as a minor percentage in the early moments of the Big Bang, with resulting annihilation keeping the excess only (the rest is the photon background).


Naturally occurring. A traded substance. A real chemical element. Usually naturally occurring in compounds only.


Naturally occurring or artificially generated by aliens. A particle. In real life, a by-product of beta decay.


Naturally occurring. A particle. A real particle; the antimatter version of a neutron.


Naturally occurring. Also generated by ships; can penetrate Romulan cloaking devices. In real life, the antimatter version of a proton. It doesn't look as if all the mentioned antiprotons of Star Trek could be really antiparticles.


Artificially generated by aliens. Obviously the antiparticles of thorons. Thorons are an actual isotope. In Star Trek, it seems anything can suddenly become "anti". They love that prefix.

Update by Derek Seewald


Origin unknown. Analogous to "antimatter" but for time, not matter.


Artificially generated by crew. Caused by the interaction between phased and normal matter. In real life, an anyon isn't a real particle. It's a theoretical construct formed by confining a normal fermion (and possibly boson) to a two-dimensional region. The exchange arguments which lead to the parity operator eigenvalues being +/-1 no longer apply, and these theoretical constructs can have arbitrary quantum phase changes under exchange.


Artificially generated by aliens. Possibly an explosive. It is very unlikely that this could be an argon compound.


Origin unknown. Function unknown. It is very unlikely that this could be an argon compound.


Naturally occurring. Causes duonetic fields, resulting in equipment failures. Actually, a short-lived radioactive element.


Artificially generated by crew. A narcotic.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann and Michael Warren




Artificially generated by aliens. Used by the Klingons. Obviously a metal alloy.


Naturally occurring. Probably some kind of ore.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann


Naturally occurring. They accumulate in a starship after prolonged missions. In real life, "heavy" particles like protons, as opposed to "light" particles (leptons) like electrons.


Artificially generated by crew. A crystal.


Artificially generated by aliens. Drug used by the Vulcans against heart diseases.


Artificially generated by aliens. Pharmaceutical used to stabilize the isoboramine level of unified trill, if necessary.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann


Naturally occurring. Ore found in asteroids, a thermal shock caused by an impact of such asteroids on a planetary surface may lead to a toxic ore rain similar to nuclear fall-out.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann


Naturally occurring. Mineral, occurring in the Delta Quadrant on the homeworld of a being called Saowin.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann

Berthold radiation

Naturally occurring or generated by aliens. Nature unknown. Harmful or fatal to humans.

Berylite scan

Artificially generated by crew. A medical procedure.

Beta radiation

Naturally occurring. Beta radiation is released during beta decay and consists of electrons, such an electron was prior emitted by a neutron that was converted to a proton, this process is called beta decay.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann


Naturally occurring. Variation of the tachyon particle. Only exists at faster-than-light velocities.

Submitted by Fidel Melgoza


Artificially generated by crew. A painkiller.


Naturally occurring. A rare crystalline element, which can be an incredible source of energy if hooked up to an antimatter converter.

Biogenic field / weapon

Naturally occurring or artificially generated by crew. A form of energy, also used as a weapon. Well, "biogenic" means "life-forming", isn't that an awful euphemism?

Biomimetic gel

Artificially generated by crew or by aliens. A dangerous and highly illegal substance.

Bioneural energy

Naturally occurring. Denotes electrical brain activity.


Artificially generated by crew. Androids like Data contain this substance. Maybe it's produced by the same people that invented steelplast. ;)

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann

Bioregenerative field

Artificially generated by crew. Treatment for large-scale injuries.


Artificially generated by crew. "Exotic metal compound" (Star Trek Encyclopedia).


Naturally occurring. Nature unknown.


Artificially generated by crew. Experimental pharmaceutical, not yet released for common medical use in 2368.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann


Origin unknown. Metallic element. Used in power generators or converters in compact machines and devices.

Submitted by Scott Gray


Naturally occurring. Mineral, very rare.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann




Naturally occurring. Chemical, apparently an element.


Origin unknown. When mixed with infernite, becomes explosive.


Artificially generated by aliens. A drug.


Naturally occurring. May be a radioactive element.

Cellular peptide

Naturally occurring. An organic compound. Maintains cell cohesion in human body.


Artificially generated by crew. A drug.


Artificially generated by aliens. A highly explosive compound, dangerous to transport, can be sold for a good profit on Orion.


Naturally occurring. A crystalline mineral.

  • PRO: "Lost and Found" - Tars Lamora is rich in chimerium.
  • PRO: "First Con-tact" - Nandi steals the Protostar's supply of chimerium because she needs it to operate the Klingon cloaking device on her vessel.


Artificially generated by aliens. A substance that is observed to be lethal at high doses.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann

Chlorine trifluoride

Artificially generated by aliens. A highly powerful fuel.

  • PRO: "Crossroads" - Thadiun Okona gives the cargo trolley a boost with this fuel when he and the Protostar are pursued by the local law enforcement of the Denaxi Depot.


Origin unknown. Hazardously corrosive substance. Perhaps it's related to chlorine, which is also highly corrosive.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann


Origin unknown. Used as fertilizer on Bajor to increase the bean harvest.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann


Artificially generated by crew. This medicine is used when inaprovaline fails.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann


Naturally occurring. Geological aggregate, occurs in asteroids.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann


Artificially generated by crew. Experimental pharmaceutical in 2404, which protects organic tissues against tachyon radiation. This effect points to something which we already know as inoculation against radiation. However, although the term "inoculation against radiation" is a bit strange, it is possible (at least in the far future) to develop substances that make e.g. body cells resistant against particles released as radiation, by either simply cover and therefore shielding cellular membranes or accelerating the repair of cells.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann


Artificially generated by crew and by aliens. Involved in time travel and in cloaking; exact nature unknown.

Chronometric particle

Artificially generated by crew and by aliens. Involved in time travel. There is no clue how this particle is different from a chroniton. Just like the prefix "iso-", the appendix "-metric" (which merely denotes something related to a measurement) is quite popular to make something sound more sophisticated.

Cobalt diselenide

Artificially generated by crew. A chemical compound that is considered a biogenic weapon. Cobalt diselenide is harmless to most humanoids but is lethal to Cardassians. If that is supposed to be CoSe2, it doesn't look feasible to me.

Submitted by Steven Maguire

Containment field

Artificially generated by crew. Collective term for a forcefield used to contain persons or dangerous substances.


Origin unknown. Well, more precisely a substance made up by Captain Kirk, which supposedly reflects weapon fire back at the attacker.


Artificially generated by crew. A powerful stimulant.


Naturally occurring. Apparently a compound.


Artificially generated by crew. An antibiotic.


Origin unknown. Component of verterium-cortenide. Most likely an element.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann

Cortical analeptic

Artificially generated by crew. A pharmaceutical.


Artificially generated by crew. A sedative.


Artificially generated by aliens. Corundium alloys are used in the construction of spacecrafts. This more or less implies that there should be an element called corundium.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann

Cosmic string

Naturally occurring. A string of particles with gravitational forces that are the strength of a black hole. It is a matter of perspective whether this is to classify as particle or energy.


Artificially generated by aliens. An alien equivalent of steroids.


Naturally occurring. Emits Eichner radiation. In real life, cyanoacrylate ester is a fast-bonding glue (e.g. Crazy Glue.)


Artificially generated by aliens. Important medicine on the Dinaal hospital ship. "Globin" is the name of the protein component in haemoglobin (the red substance in the blood). "Cyto" refers to body cells.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann



Dark matter

Naturally occurring. Causes phase shifts in normal matter. In real life, dark matter is a concept to explain away the fact that there should be more mass in the universe than is visible.


Artificially generated by crew. A particle with exotic properties. In real life, dechyons are the class of particles that travel below the speed of light (i.e., the opposite of tachyons).

Delta radiation

Generated by crew. Type of radiation produced by older engines. Radiation of that name exists in real life. Delta rays refer to moderate energy electrons which have been kicked off a nucleus by the passage of a nearby high energy charged particle - nothing to be much afraid of.


Artificially generated by aliens. Metal alloy, used by Vulcans in the construction of starships. Sounds rather like something used by dentists.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann

Dermatiraelian plasticine

Artificially generated by aliens. Used in cosmetic surgery.


Artificially generated by crew. Metal alloy, used in starship construction. Considering the cheesy writing of this episode, I have the impression they thought of duranium, but didn't get it right.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann


Naturally occurring. Found as deposits in asteroid fields.


Naturally occurring. Used to power warp and impulse drives. Isotope of hydrogen with an additional neutron. Deuterium has twice the mass of ordinary hydrogen and is also called heavy hydrogen. Deuterium was discovered in 1931 by Harold Clayton Urey, a chemist at Columbia University, for which he earned the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1934. It is useful in nuclear fusion reactions, as is tritium, because of the larger rate of reaction.

Deuterium can replace the normal hydrogen in water molecules to form heavy water (D2O), which was a source of some concern during World War II, as Germany was known to be conducting experiments using heavy water as a nuclear reactor moderator, which might allow them to produce plutonium for an atomic bomb. Deuterium is frequently used in chemistry and biochemistry as a tracer molecule to study reaction pathways because chemically it behaves identically to ordinary hydrogen, but it can be distinguished from ordinary hydrogen by its mass. Also, because of its greater mass, chemical reactions involving deuterium tend to occur at a slower rate than the corresponding reactions involving ordinary hydrogen. It has been suggested that deuterium water (heavy water) should be considered toxic because if consumed in isolation it would displace light water and disturb the rate of biochemical reactions in the body.

Submitted by Daniel Welch


Origin unknown. Material used by the Cardassians.


Origin unknown. A metallic element. Considering that there is a diburnium-osmium alloy too, diburnium is obviously an element.

Diburnium-osmium alloy

Artificially generated by aliens. A substance highly resistant to energy and radiation.


Origin unknown. Optic material used to build lenses and mirrors.


Naturally occurring. An apparent element that makes up part of the molecular structure of a gaseous creature, possibly allowing the creature to exist in a state on the border between matter and energy and avoid weapons fire by moving itself through time.


Naturally occurring. Focuses energy into highly concentrated form. Necessary for the operation of warp drives, and a vital part of a starship's power system.

Displacement wave

Artificially generated by aliens. Moves objects at very high speed.

Disruptor beam

Artificially generated by aliens. Klingon equivalent of a phasers. Accompanied by a shrill, echoing sound.


Origin unknown. Used in power generators, reactors and short-range transporters. If pure enough, it can be made into weapons.

Duonetic field

Naturally occurring or artificially created by crew. Caused by astatin, resulting in equipment failures.

Drechtal beam

Artificially generated by crew. Beam used surgically to cut sensoric nerves in the brain. Instead of recruiting yet another exotic particle, we may want to claim that it's a simple specially shaped laser beam named for its inventor, Drechtal.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann


Artificially generated by crew. A hard metal alloy used for the hull of spacecrafts. A hard metal alloy, or rather a pure metal? Most technically used metals are more or less alloys, so the distinction may not be clear-cut.

Submitted by George Cheng


Artificially generated by crew. Very strong alloy used in construction of starship hulls or structural augmentation.

Submitted by Fidel Melgoza


Artificially generated by crew. A strong sedative that may simulate the death of a person.

Dynametric field

Naturally occurring. Energy field generated by the Bajoran wormhole.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann



E-band radiation

Naturally occurring. Emitted by collapsing stars; can also be used as a means of communication. Seems to be just a part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Eichner radiation

Artificially generated by aliens. May cause uncontrollable cell growth.


Naturally occurring. Extremely rare mineral found in comets.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann

Electro ceramics

Artificially generated by aliens. Component on Kazon ships.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann

Electrodynamic fluid

Artificially generated by aliens. Liquid power source of Species 8472's bioships

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann


Naturally occurring or artificially generated by crew or by aliens. A bioelectrical effect, used as an analysis method. In real life, electrophoresis is a process by which proteins are identified by putting them on a gel and running an electric current through the gel, then staining the gel and measuring how far the proteins moved in comparison to a group of standard proteins that were also put on the gel (bigger proteins move slower, in general).

Element 247

Naturally occurring. Secreted by Vhnori corpses. This transuranic element would be provisionally named "biquadseptium", as the 247th element. It is rather unlikely that such a heavy element is both stable and naturally occurring.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann, updated by Leyte Wolf

Energy ribbon

Origin unknown. Temporal phenomenon capable of delivering an individual to a non-corporeal utopian existence.

Submitted by Alex Golden

Epsilon radiation

Naturally occurring. Uncommon toxic energy that is related to tetryon reactors. Could that be another "misused" name of real-world radiation?

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann


Origin unknown. Metal alloy, used in shuttle spaceframes.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann

Exanogen gas

Artificially generated by crew. Instable substance that is used cold.

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann


Artificially generated by aliens. Used by Benthan engineers in the construction of a prototype starship. Monotanium, tritanium, ..., (h)exatanium?

Submitted by Alex Hoffmann


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