Pure and Zn1-xCoxO nanoparticles have been synthesized by a simple sol-gel method at low temperature where neither a chelating agent nor subsequent annealing was required. The effect of Cobalt atomic fraction, ‘x’ ≤ 0.0625, on the structural and magnetic properties of the doped ZnO powders was evaluated. X-ray diffraction and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy analyses evidenced the exclusive formation of the ZnO-wurtzite structure; no isolated Co-phases were detected. The linear dependence of cell parameters a and c with ‘x’, suggested the actual replacement of Zn by Co ions in the oxide lattice. Micro Raman spectroscopy measurements showed a band centered at 534cm-1, which can be assigned to a local vibrational mode related to Co species, in addition to the normal modes associated with wurtzite. The intensity and broadening of this band at 534 cm-1 were enhanced by increasing ‘x’. In turn, the other bands corresponding to A1 (E2, E1) and E2
High modes were red shifted at higher Co contents. Room-temperature magnetization measurements revealed the paramagnetic behavior of the Co-doped ZnO nanoparticles.