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Preparation of Enantiomerically Enriched (2R,3R)- or (2S,3S)-trans-2,3-Diaryloxiranes via Camphor-Derived Sulfonium Ylides

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journal contribution
posted on 26.01.1996, 00:00 by An-Hu Li, Li-Xin Dai, Xue-Long Hou, Yao-Zeng Huang, Feng-Wei Li
Easily available d-(+)-camphor-derived sulfides 3, 4, 6, and 7 were employed for enantioselective epoxidation via an ylide route. When benzylated or methylated sulfides were used as reagents or mediators for benzylidene transfer, stoichiometric and catalytic epoxidations were realized, respectively. Opposite asymmetric induction was achieved only when sulfides containing exo- (3 and 4) and endo- (6 and 7) alkylthio groups were used. That is, both (+)- and (−)-trans-diaryloxiranes could be obtained in excellent yields and moderate to good ee values under extremely mild conditions from the same chiral pool-derived reagents. A nonbonded interaction between the free OH in the ylides from sulfides (3, 6, and 7) and the carbonyl group of aldehydes controls the approach of the substrates to the ylidic carbon preferentially at one specified face and therefore leads to a more efficient asymmetric induction than that in the case of the ylide from methyl-protected hydroxylated sulfides 4, which cannot cause such an interaction. The same opposite asymmetric induction was also observed in the catalytic reaction with methyl-protected hydroxylated sulfide 4b and unprotected hydroxylated sulfide 3b.