A simple method is reported for the synthesis of monodispersed HfO2 nanoparticles by the ammonia catalyzed hydrolysis and condensation of hafnium (IV) tert-butoxide in the presence of surfactants at room temperature. Transmission electron microscopy shows faceted nanoparticles with an average diameter of 3-4 nm. As-synthesized nanoparticles are amorphous in nature and crystallize upon moderate heat treatment. The HfO2 nanoparticles have a narrow size distribution, large specific surface area and good thermal stability. Specific surface area was about 239 m2/g on as-prepared nanoparticle samples while those annealed at 500 °C have specific surface area of 221 m2/g indicating that there was no significant increase in particle size. This result was further confirmed by TEM images of nanoparticles annealed at 300 °C and 500 °C. X-ray diffraction studies of the crystallized nanoparticles revealed that HfO2 nanoparticles were monoclinic in structure. The synthetic procedure used in this work can be readily modified for large scale production of monodispersed HfO2 nanoparticles.