Creating scientific figures with versioning

While working on the “Potential of monolayer charge” letter, we learned that saving figure versions is essential. In particular, while working on the first Figure (representing the concept), we started with this sketch as an intermediate of a cartoon from “Overscreening versus Crowding” and MD snapshots from “Interfaces between Charged Surfaces and Ionic Liquids.”

With chatGPT, we created a wavy electrode and arranged ions in Matplotlib. Then, we created over 30 versions in Inkscape, as shown in this animation (also made with guidance from chatGPT):

Versions of Figure 1

It was crucial to have versions instead of working on the same file because we often reverted to previous versions after trying new visual elements. Our final figure illustrates that the Potential of Monolayer Charge (PMC) is right between overscreening and crowding regimes. Moreover, the PMC can fit into the electrochemical stability window by lowering its absolute value with varying ion area. Read more in the “Potential of monolayer charge” letter.