Fluorine helps: A fluorinated triazolium salt precatalyst has been developed that efficiently promotes the asymmetric intermolecular Stetter reaction of enolizable aldehydes and nitrostyrenes (see scheme). Trans fluorination of the catalyst architecture results in unparalleled reactivity and enantioselectivity in the desired transformation. A DFT study provides evidence of an electrostatic interaction as the source of the increased enantio-induction.
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