Single-crystalline with good optical properties aligned ZnO nanonails were grown on steel alloy substrate without the use of metal catalyst or additives by the thermal evaporation process using high purity metallic zinc powder and oxygen as source materials for zinc and oxygen, respectively. Detailed morphological studies by FESEM revealed that the obtained nanonails are grown in a high density over the whole substrate surface and are exhibiting perfect hexagonal-shaped caps. The diameters of the nanonails at their tops and bases are ranges from 120∼160nm and 50∼70 nm, respectively. The detailed structural characterizations confirmed that the synthesized nanostructures are single-crystalline and grown along the c-axis direction. Raman scattering and room-temperature photoluminescence studies demonstrated the wurtzite hexagonal phase and good optical properties, respectively for the grown nanonails.