A taggant comprising at least one perfluorocarbon compound surrounded by a polyphosphazene compound. The polyphosphazene compound has the chemical structure: ##STR00001## wherein G.sub.1 and G.sub.2 are pendant groups having different polarities, m is an integer greater than or equal to 100, and each of A and B is independently selected from hydrogen, an alkyl, an alkene, an alkoxide, a polyether, a polythioether, a siloxane, and --X(CH.sub.2).sub.nY.sup.1(CH.sub.2)p.sub.1Y.sup.2(CH.sub.2)p.sub.2 . . . Y.sup.i(CH.sub.2)p.sub.iCH.sub.3, where n ranges from 1 to 6, X and Y are independently selected from oxygen, sulfur, selenium, tellurium, and polonium, and p.sub.1 through p.sub.i range from 1 to 6. Cyclic polyphosphazene compounds lacking the A and B groups are also disclosed, as are methods of forming the taggant and of detecting an object.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with government support under Contract Number DE-AC07-05ID14517 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.