Synthesis of Enantioenriched α,α-Dichloro- and α,α-Difluoro-β-Hydroxy Esters and Amides by Ruthenium-Catalyzed Asymmetric Transfer Hydrogenation

A mild and convenient approach was developed to prepare a series of α,α-dihalogeno β-hydroxy esters or amides by using commercially available Noyori’s complex [RuCl­(<i>p</i>-cymene)­(<i>R</i>,<i>R</i>)-TsDPEN] as a catalyst (S/C = 100−200) in the asymmetric transfer hydrogenation of the corresponding ketones. Moderate to high yields (up to 99%) and excellent enantioselectivities (up to >99% ee) were achieved for a series of variously substituted dichloro and difluoro β-hydroxy esters and amides.