The Omega molecule Ω (also known as Particle 010) is a short-lived, highly unstable molecule, believed to be the most powerful substance in the known universe. Some Federation cosmologists theorize that Omega existed in nature at the instant of the Big Bang, when the universe as we know it was born.
An Omega molecule would be so energetic that even a few molecules would, in theory, be able to power a whole civilization. The molecule could be synthesized using boronite ore. A single Omega molecule was synthesized in the late 23rd century by Dr. Ketteract, a Federation scientist. The molecule remained stable for a fraction of a second before it exploded, killing 127 leading Federation scientists, destroying the research station and causing ruptures in subspace extending several light years, making warp travel impossible in the region.
Starfleet Command immediately realized that the use of even a few Omega molecules could effectively end spacefaring travel in an entire quadrant or even the entire galaxy. Starfleet not only banned research into Omega, but issued the Omega Directive, ordering the destruction of Omega molecules by any means necessary, and the suppression of any knowledge of the particle's existence beyond starship captains and flag officers.
Knowledge of Omega was not restricted to the Federation. The Borg learned of the substance through the assimilation of thirteen species, and were able to synthesize a single molecule of Omega. That molecule also exploded, destroying 29 Borg vessels with 600,000 drones lost. The Borg, who referred to Omega as Particle 010, regarded Omega with near-reverence as they believed it to exist in a flawless state. All Borg were ordered to assimilate it at any cost. From their data, the Borg designed a harmonic resonance chamber which could theoretically stabilize the molecule. (VOY: "The Omega Directive") In 2387 a huge explosion ripped through Starbase 140, and decimated Cestus Shipyards. The resulting devestation was studied by Starfleet Intelligence for 2 years. In 2389, it was believed the substance Protoculture, which was labeled a unstable protein, was in fact a stable form of Omega. Later that year, Juraan was testing Zentradi weapons that had the explosive potential of Omega, with out the harmful residual effects to space.