This type of electron microscopy of cleaned diatom material allows the highest resolution and thus reveals most details. The contrast between heavily silicified parts of the valves and less silicified structures calls for caution during the printing of TEM pictures, however. Finer details like vela, are easily lost at the cost of coarser details that need a different printing. It also must be kept in mind that three dimensional structures are "flattened" into a two-dimensional picture, and the two surfaces of the diatom wall are seen as one image, except when stereo pictures are used. This makes interpretation of the image demanding and considerable experience is often needed to arrive at the right conclusions.

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