Enantioselective Activation of Stable Carboxylate Esters as Enolate Equivalents <i>via</i> N-Heterocyclic Carbene Catalysts

The first N-Heterocyclic Carbene (NHC) mediated activation of stable carboxylate esters to generate enolate intermediates is disclosed. The catalytically generated arylacetic ester enolates undergo enantioselective reactions with α,β-unsaturated imines.