oxidations are a really handy way to make esters from ketones.
The general form of this reaction is as follows:
basic conditions, a peroxide can be deprotonated. This nucleophilic
species can then attack a carbonyl group to form a tetrahedral
intermediate. Once the tetrahedral intermediate collapses,
instead of kicking the peroxide back off, the more highly
substituted alkyl substituent makes a sigmatropic shift to
the oxygen, kicking off the alcoxide as the leaving group,
forming the ester.
of a Baeyer-Villiger oxidation:
common MCPBA (m-chlorobenzoic acid) is used as the peroxide.
It is one of the most common peroxides because it is cheap
and crystalline, and can be used in stoichiometric quantities.