Enantioselective inclusion of α-amino acids with crystals of α-cyclodextrin (α-CD) has been achieved by converting the amino acids into sulfonate salts with pyrene-1-sulfonic acid (PyS). For example, crystals of α-CD selectively include L-leucine/PyS (1:1) salt in a host/guest ratio of ∼1 with 92%ee from a solution of the racemic salt in ethanol/N-methylformamide (91:9) at 40 °C. Under conditions optimized for individual amino acids, the PyS salts of valine, phenylalanine, and methionine are also included with good enantioselectivities (up to 86%ee). Mechanistic studies for the inclusion of leucine/PyS salt reveals that the enantioselectivity originates from the difference in stability between the inclusion complexes of D- and L-leucine/PyS salts with α-CD in crystals.
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