The principle of amplified halogen bonding (XB) in a small space is exploited as a catalytic tool for the activation of an XB acceptor substrate in a nanoconfined environment. The inner cavity of the resorcinarene capsule has been equipped with an XB catalyst bearing an ammonium unit acting as a Trojan horse to drive the catalyst inside the capsule. In the presence of a specific XB catalyst, the capsule is able to catalyze a Michael reaction between N-methylpyrrole and methyl vinyl ketone. In the bulk medium in absence of the resorcinarene capsule, the XB catalyst is catalytically ineffective. Quantum-mechanical investigations highlight that the Michael reaction proceeds through the activation of the carbonyl group by synergistically enhanced halogen/hydrogen-bonding interactions and takes place in an open pentameric capsule. © 2019 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
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