The importance and timeliness of materials science and engineering in the emerging fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology, driven by the electronics and biotechnology industries cannot be overstated. There is a big gap between the scale of individual molecular structures and the sub-microscopic components on microprocessors. That gap, which spans from about one nanometer to several hundred nanometers (1-100 nm), is where fundamental properties of materials are defined. Using SPMs, scientists and engineers can presently "see" and analyze the atomic and molecular landscapes of material surfaces. SPM-based force-feedback instruments are under development to manipulate nanostructures and "feel" and move the atoms and molecules on a material surface. The evolution of nanoscience and nanotechnology, resulting in better control over the way atoms and molecules assemble into tiny structures; will make possible in the near future an unprecedented technological capability to develop novel materials and advanced materials processes at the molecular and possibly atomic scale.