Nitrated Confined Imidodiphosphates Enable a Catalytic Asymmetric Oxa-Pictet–Spengler Reaction

The development of a highly enantioselective catalytic oxa-Pictet–Spengler reaction has proven a great challenge for chemical synthesis. We now report the first example of such a process, which was realized by utilizing a nitrated confined imidodiphosphoric acid catalyst. Our approach provides substituted isochroman derivatives from both aliphatic and aromatic aldehydes with high yields and excellent enantioselectivities. DFT calculations provide insight into the reaction mechanism.