Benjamin Ocko

Senior Scientist


Ben Ocko is a soft-matter physicist. He has pioneered the study of liquid and soft interfaces using surface x-ray scattering methods. He has contributed to the understanding of the phase behavior of surfaces under temperature, electrochemical, and pressure control. With Moshe Deutsch, he discovered surface freezing at the vapor interface in alkane and alkane derivative molecules where a single or bilayer molecular layer forms at the interface between the underlying melt and its vapor. His team discovered surface layering in liquids metals and elaborated the role of capillary waves in establishing the roughness of liquid surfaces. More recently Ben has turned his attention to ordering at liquid/liquid surfaces and molten salt interfaces. Ben has also contributed to our understanding of wetting behavior on nanostructured substrates, the structure of electrode surfaces under potential control, self-assembled monolayers, block copolymer thin films, organic photovoltaic materials under confinement, ionic liquids, the silicon/silicon oxide interface, and Langmuir monolayers on mercury.

Working with Prof. Peter Pershan (Harvard University) they developed the X22B Liquid Surface Spectrometer (LSS) at NSLS in the 1980’s, the first synchrotron based LSS in the US. Ben also developed the LSS at ID10 at the APS in the 1990’s. Ben joined NSLS II in 2015 where he is developing the LSS program and the Polymer Processing and Liquids Scattering instrument at 12-ID. Ben has published over 250 papers and has an H-index of 63 (2019).

Phone: 344-4299
Email: ocko@bnl.gov