The stereoselective transformation of α-alkoxyacetoaldehydes to the corresponding (Z)-vinyl triflates was achieved by treatment with phenyl triflimide and DBU. The stereochemistry was explained by the "syn-effect," which was attributed primarily to an σ → π∗ interaction. The β-alkoxy vinyl triflates obtained were applied to the stereoselective synthesis of structurally diverse (Z)-allylic alcohols via transition metal-catalyzed cross-coupling reaction and [1,2]-Wittig rearrangement.
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