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How Scientists Create Kryptonite

On the sets of the film Supermen of Malegaon (2012).

Kryptonite may become a possibility in the near future. Chemists from the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences have discovered how to synthesize a krypton oxide, the initial binary compound of krypton and oxygen. This unique substance can be produced under extreme pressure and its production is well within the capabilities of modern laboratories.

Originally a material deadly to Superman and his race, Kryptonite were supposed to have been discovered within the planet Krypton. The inspiration for the name, real krypton, is an element with an atomic number of 36. It is a noble gas believed to be incapable of forming sound chemical compounds.

However, a publication in the journal Scientific Reports by a team of theoretical chemists from the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, Poland, suggests the possibility of synthesizing a new crystal material in which atoms of krypton would be bonded chemically to another element.

Kryptonite, or, at least, the substance they are predicting, is a compound of krypton with oxygen and not nitrogen. In the rules of the comic book it should, therefore, be named kryptoxide and not kryptonite. Dr. Patrick Zaleski-Ejgierd joked that Superman can stay calm because at the moment there is no cause for panic, Eureka Alert reported. Their krypton monoxide, KrO, most likely does not exist in nature. According to collective knowledge, deep in the core of planets where there is sufficient pressure for its synthesis, oxygen and krypton do not exist.

Kryptonite-like compounds have been produced previously in the laboratory under the cryogenic state. However, they were only single and small molecules of the hydrogen-carbon-krypton-carbon-hydrogen type. The Polish chemists wondered if there were states in which krypton would not only chemically bond with another element, but also in which it would be able to form an extensive and sound crystal lattice.

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