Diatoms are microscopic algae composed of separate halves, with delicate siliceous cell walls. They're usually single-celled organisms, though some live colonially. They inhabit fresh and salt waters and are among the most abundant of all phytoplankton.
Diatoms have cell walls called frustules that contain opaline silica and fine pores. The tiny pores in the frustules make them a useful filtering material for a wide range of industrial products, including beer and jet fuel.
French point lace Marine diatom Courtesy of Philippe Crassous Image Details Instrument used: Quanta Family Magnification: 8339 Horizontal Field Width: Vacuum: mbar Voltage: 10 Spot: 3 Working Distance: mm Detector: SE