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An efficient chiral Brønsted acid-catalyzed enantioselective dehydrative Nazarov-type electrocyclization (DNE) of electron-rich aryl- and 2-thienyl-β-amino-2-en-1-ols is described. The 4π conrotatory electrocyclization reaction affords access to a wide variety of the corresponding 1H-indenes and 4H-cyclopenta[b]thiophenes in excellent yields of up to 99% and enantiomeric excess (ee) values of up to 99%. Experimental and computational studies based on a proposed intimate contact ion-pair species that is further assisted by hydrogen bonding between the amino group of the substrate cation and chiral catalyst anion provide insight into the observed product enantioselectivities.
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