Store Data Forever In An Ion Vault

Dr. Monty Wood, left, and Nicholas Seet of Los Alamos dine recently at Ashok Rao’s Songkran Thai Kitchen in Houston. Courtesy photo


Dr. Monty Wood, a longtime resident and staff member at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, has patented a method for etching in sapphire the very data that citizens and corporations spend billions of dollars a year trying to preserve. 

His company,, leverages his patents to speed to market this revolutionary process. Unlike tapes, CDs, DVDs or other conventional backup methods that only last decades at most, his ion-beam-based nano-etching in sapphire could last up to 10,000 years.

“This is the holy-grail of data preservation, simple optical-readback in a nearly indestructible medium,” says Nicholas Seet, who has offered his entrepreneurial acceleration services to Wood as part of his contract with RDC (Regional Development Corporation) to support northern New Mexican entrepreneurs. “Imagine engraving that favorite wedding photo in the diamond of your engagement ring, or saving your company’s data during an EMP (transient electromagnetic disturbance).”

Last week, Wood, under Seet’s coaching, presented SFion at StartupWeekend Santa Fe, the ABQid Scrappy Startup pitch competition, and Rice University’s IT Venture Forum in Houston.  The presentations were well received and Wood was encouraged by the response.  

“We received lots of good feedback and confirmation that there is a real market out there for the solution that we are presenting,” Wood said.

Wood and Seet are seeking a beta-customer to prove the validity of the technology, which is ready for testing and will scale up to full production in 2016.

“Imagine never worrying about your data in the event of a hardware failure, natural or man-made data-loss event,” Wood said.

View Wood’s Rice presentation at Interested parties should join the email list at, or send an email to