The Johnson group has developed a family of reagents that are useful for the modular preparation of highly substituted glycolic acid derivatives. Silyl glyoxylates are potent electrophiles by virtue of being α-dicarbonyls, and react with a variety of nucleophiles. The intermediates generated undergo 1,2-silyl migration followed by electrophilic trapping with aldehydes, enones, nitroolefins, ketones, or lactones to give highly functionalized, fully substituted glycolates.
J.S. Johnson Group Website