Asymmetric Synthesis of 4‑Aryl-3,4-dihydrocoumarins by <i>N</i>‑Heterocyclic Carbene Catalyzed Annulation of Phenols with Enals

The highly enantioselective synthesis of 4-aryl-3,4-dihydrocoumarins was realized through direct annulation of phenols with enals catalyzed by dihydroisoquinoline-type NHC (DHIQ-NHC), an <i>N</i>-heterocyclic carbene derived from l-phenylalanine. The catalytic reaction proceeds with a wide scope of electron-rich phenols and enals providing structurally diverse 4-aryl-3,4-dihydrocoumarins in good to excellent yields and enantioselectivity. This method was useful in the synthesis of natural products and biologically relevant compounds from readily available starting materials.