Microwave irradiation of various dialdehydes and chiral diamines afforded chiral macrocyclic imines in moderate to good yields. Linked dialdehydes predominantly form [2+2] macrocycles whereas dialdehydes without linkers yield [3+3] macrocycles. This is the first report of template-free synthesis of calixsalen-type macrocycles formed in shorter reaction times under microwave conditions. In all the reactions, the salts of chiral diamines were used in contrast to the free diamines normally employed. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.