An improved Surface-Enhanced Raman Optical Data Storage System (SERODS) is disclosed. In the improved system, entities capable of existing in multiple reversible states are present on the storage device. Such entities result in changed Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) when localized state changes are effected in less than all of the entities. Therefore, by changing the state of entities in localized regions of a storage device, the SERS emissions in such regions will be changed. When a write-on device is controlled by a data signal, such a localized regions of changed SERS emissions will correspond to the data written on the device. The data may be read by illuminating the surface of the storage device with electromagnetic radiation of an appropriate frequency and detecting the corresponding SERS emissions. Data may be deleted by reversing the state changes of entities in regions where the data was initially written. In application, entities may be individual molecules which allows for the writing of data at the molecular level. A read/write/delete head utilizing near-field quantum techniques can provide for a write/read/delete device capable of effecting state changes in individual molecules, thus providing for the effective storage of data at the molecular level.