The present invention relates generally to mesoporous sorbent materials having high capacity, high selectivity, fast kinetics, and molecular recognition capability. The invention also relates to a process for preparing these mesoporous substrates through molecular imprinting techniques which differ from convention techniques in that a template molecule is bound to one end of bifunctional ligands to form a complex prior to binding of the bifunctional ligands to the substrate. The present invention also relates to methods of using the mesoporous sorbent materials, for example, in the separation of toxic metals from process effluents, paints, and other samples; detection of target molecules, such as amino acids, drugs, herbicides, fertilizers, and TNT, in samples; separation and/or detection of substances using chromatography; imaging agents; sensors; coatings; and composites.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT RIGHTS
This invention was made with government support under contract No. DE-AC05-96OR22464 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corp., and the government has certain rights in this invention.