The breakdown of a protective passive film leading to accelerated dissolution at localized sites is an important practical issue and a vexing scientific problem. The small dimensions, short timescale, and dynamic interplay between a heterogeneous surface and changing potential and solution concentration gradients complicate the development of a complete understanding of the phenomena. This review touches on some of the recent developments in the field, including scanning tunneling microscopy imaging of the earliest stages of pitting which supports a new model explaining the localization of attack, pitting in thin aqueous layers relevant to atmospheric corrosion, the factors controlling crevice corrosion, and predictive modeling of localized corrosion.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(08)70206-2