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Research

Throughout the past few years, I've been involved in four different research projects, mostly in optical/IR instrumentation and transient astrophysics. I'm interested in developing novel methods, algorithms, and instruments to advance astrophysical research.

G-CLEF Fiber Mode Scrambler

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Sept. 2021 - Jun. 2022

Young Type II-L Supernova

Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto
May 2021 - Apr. 2022

DMD-based MOS

Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto
May 2020 - Aug. 2022

Photocatalytic H2 Generation

Department of ECE, National University of Singapore
May 2019 - Aug. 2019

Publications

  1. M. C. H. Leung, S. Chen, and C. Jurgenson, "Accurately measuring hyperspectral imaging distortion in grating spectrographs using a clustering algorithm," in Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation V, Proc. SPIE 12188, 121883W (2022),
    DOI (publisher): 10.1117/12.2630442, arXiv (free): 10.48550/arXiv.2208.10610 
  2. S. Chen, M. C. H. Leung, X. Yao, S. Sivanandam, I. Sanders, and R. Liang, “Optical design and wavelength calibration of a DMD-based multi-object spectrograph,” in Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation V, Proc. SPIE 12188, 1218856 (2022),
    DOI (publisher): 10.1117/12.2630372, arXiv (free): 10.48550/arXiv.2209.15077
  3. M. C. H. Leung, "Light Curve Analysis of a Young Type II-L Supernova from the KMTNet Supernova Program", B.A.Sc. Thesis, University of Toronto (2022)

GMT G-CLEF Optical Fiber Mode Scrambler

Optical and Infrared Astronomy Division, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Cambridge, MA, USA | September 2021 - June 2022
Co-op/gap year internship

  • Worked on G-CLEF, a precision radial velocity fiber-fed echelle spectrograph which will be the first light instrument for the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT)
  • Designed and created a prototype optical fiber mode scrambler for G-CLEF, which agitates the fibers feeding the spectrograph from the GMT, in order to mitigate a phenomenon called modal noise which is detrimental to exoplanet detection
  • Re-designed and built an optical fiber characterization station for fiber near field and far field imaging, and focal ratio degredation measurement
  • Designed, modelled, and analyzed optical systems in Zemax OpticStudio
  • Wrote custom software for image analysis, camera control, and mode scrambler control

Optical fiber characterization station at the G-CLEF Fiber Research Laboratory

Near-field images of a octagonal fiber which the mode scrambler was tested on

Near-field images of a rectangular fiber which the mode scrambler was tested on

Analysis of a Young Type II-L Supernova 

Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto
Toronto, ON, Canada | May 2021 - April 2022
UofT Astrophysics SURP Research Fellowship

  • Investigated the unprecedentedly early observations of a young Type II-L supernova (SN) from the KMTNet Supernova Program
  • Analyzed a large dataset of images with Python to construct mult-band and bolometric light curves of the SN; performed image subtraction, PSF photometry, and filtering of light curves
  • Used analytic models to estimate the SN's physical and temporal parameters, and to infer that the early light curve was primarily powered by shock cooling emission
  • Completed a Bachelor's thesis on this SN

Left: False colour RGB scaled image of SN near its peak brightness; Right: SN's BVI Light Curves

B-band scaled images of SN at key epochs; the SN location is marked by red crosshairs

Stack of 31 I-band images taken pre-burst; note that these images have been heavily scaled to make the host galaxy (labelled "G") more noticeable; the SN location is marked by red crosshairs

Fit of Sapir & Waxman (2017) shock cooling emission model to B-band luminosity light curve of SN

DMD-Based Multi-Object Spectrograph

Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto
Toronto, ON, Canada | May 2020 - August 2022
UofT Dunlap Institute SURP Research Fellowship

  • Worked on multi-object spectrograph (MOS) that uses a digital micromirror device (DMD) as a programmable slit
  • Created a novel clustering algorithm for hyperspectral imaging distoriton correction in astronomical spectra; published 2 papers (1 first author, 1 second author) in SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2022
  • Designed, analyzed, and optimized optical systems with Zemax OpticStudio; used ZOS-API with MATLAB to generate simulated Monte-Carlo ray traces
  • Submitted a poster to the Royal Astronomical Society Early Career Poster Exhibition 2020

Overall layout of the DMD-MOS; see paper: 10.1117/12.2630372

Demonstration of novel clustering algorithm on a toy dataset; see paper: 10.1117/12.2630442

Photocatalytic Hydrogen Generation and Solar Reflective Nanofilms

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, National University of Singapore
Singapore | May 2019 - August 2019
UofT Engineering Science ESROP Global Research Fellowship

  • Synthesized TiO2/Ag nanofibers by electrospinning, and experimented with the best combination of reactants to achieve maximal hydrogen generation; worked safely with high voltages (17.5kV) and hazardous substances
  • Wrote Python code to interface with an analog-to-digital conerter, to process Type T thermocouple voltage values
  • Used a variety of precison instruments including a scanning electron microscope, gas chromatograph, atomic force microscope, and UV-Vis-NIR spectrophotometer

Testing TiO2/Ag nanofibers for photocatalytic hydrogen generation

© Copyright 2019-2022 Matthew C.H. Leung. All Rights Reserved.