||This thesis details the synthesis and characterization of UV-emitting defect-free zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles. The synthesis of the colloidal nanoparticles was performed in an aqueous solution by adding sodium hydroxide to zinc sulfate at 60°C. The most effective procedure for eliminating the defect emission band present in the ZnO nanoparticles was found to be annealing the particles at 400°C. Elimination through annealing indicates that interstitial atoms within the lattice became mobile at high temperatures and diffused out of the lattice. Additionally, the defect-free particles were coated with several fatty acids to improve dispersion in organic solvents. Additional methods were applied to synthesize ZnO nanoparticles with smaller sizes and various shapes including synthesizing the nanoparticles at lower reaction temperatures. The results of the synthesis at a lower reaction temperature showed minimal control over size and shape of the nanoparticles. The particles were characterized using several spectroscopic techniques.