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DNA immobilization enhancement is demonstrated in a structure consisting of ZnO nanotips on 128° Y-cut LiNbO3.The ZnO nanotips are grown by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) on the top of a SiO2 layer that is deposited and patterned on the LiNbO3 SAW delay path. The effects of ZnO nanotips on the SAW response are investigated. X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy are used to analyze the ZnO nanotips, which are of single crystalline quality, and they are uniformly aligned with their c-axis perpendicular to the substrate surface. The photoluminescence (PL) spectrum of the ZnO nanotips shows strong near bandedge transition with insignificant deep level emission, confirming their good optical property. DNA immobilization enhancement is experimentally validated by radioactive labeling tests and SAW response changes. The ZnO nanotips enhance the DNA immobilization by a factor of 200 compared to ZnO film with flat surface. DNA hybridization with complementary and noncomplementary second strand DNA oligonucleotides is used to study the selective binding of the structure. This device structure possesses the advantages of both traditional SAW sensors and ZnO nanostructures.