A readily recyclable asymmetric catalyst has been developed based on the self-assembly of a homogeneous catalyst in a fibrous network of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs). Dimerization of an amide-based chiral ligand with a suitable spacer allows for the efficient formation of a heterogeneous catalyst by self-assembly on addition of Er(OiPr)3. The self-assembly proceeds in the MWNT fibrous network and small clusters of assembled catalyst are confined in the MWNTs, producing an easily handled solid-phase catalyst. The resulting MWNT-confined catalyst exhibits a good catalytic performance in a catalytic asymmetric Mannich-type reaction, which can be conducted in a repeated batch system and in a continuous-flow platform.
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