A new synthesis methodology is utilized to prepare ZnO nanoparticles with a narrow size distribution between 2 to 4 nm. The particle growth is found to be reaction time dependent. The dry powders of ZnO nanoparticles show a strong blue-shifted near-band-edge ultraviolet emission, and the size and size distribution of the particles did not exhibit noticeable change during solvent evaporation. Raman spectra show ZnO E 2 2 (TO) phonon mode and other vibration modes that are attributed to the bound acetate group. The CO stretching mode in the Raman spectra is red-shifted to 1401 cm-1, indicating a strong adsorption of the acetate ligands onto ZnO surfaces.