Field electron emission from vertically well-aligned zinc oxide (ZnO) nanowires, which were grown by the vapor deposition method at a low temperature of 550 °C, was investigated. The high-purity ZnO nanowires showed a single crystalline wurtzite structure. The turn-on voltage for the ZnO nanowires was found to be about 6.0 V/μm at current density of 0.1 μA/cm2. The emission current density from the ZnO nanowires reached 1 mA/cm2 at a bias field of 11.0 V/μm, which could give sufficient brightness as a field emitter in a flat panel display. Therefore, the well-aligned ZnO nanowires grown at such low temperature can promise the application of a glass-sealed flat panel display in a near future. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.