The secret to better solar panels just might be in a big magnet.

The industrial-strength magnet is inside a roomful of experimental work on New Haven’s Hillhouse Avenue, where it makes ultra-tiny “nanowires” all stand up in one direction.

For Yale engineering professor Chinedum Osuji and his colleagues, this is a breakthrough: It allows energy to travel through channels in a polymer matrix, rather than meandering about. The end result is more energy produced, since less is lost in the chaos of disorganization.

Click here to continue reading Gwyneth Shaw’s report.