Sharpless epoxidation converts a prochiral allylic alcohol into the corresponding chiral epoxide with > 90% enantiomeric excess,. Here is the first step in trying to explain how this magic is achieved.
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- R.M. Hanson, and K.B. Sharpless, "Procedure for the catalytic asymmetric epoxidation of allylic alcohols in the presence of molecular sieves", The Journal of Organic Chemistry, vol. 51, pp. 1922-1925, 1986. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jo00360a058