Origin: Anc Greek
δια-/dia(=prefix meaning through,) > probably from the root δις/dis(=twice)
+τέμνω/temno(=cut in two )
literally means “be cut in two” or “be cut through” probably because they seem to have been cut in half.
(?) Van Leeuwenhoek observed diatoms as early as 1702 and diatoms were already used in geological research in the second half of the nineteenth century.
The diatom is a type of microscopic, unicellular AND photosynthesising eukaryotic algae and one of the most common types of phytoplankton. Diatoms are characterised by cell wall made of silica (hydrated silicon dioxide) called frustule.