Crystalline zinc oxide particles of nanometre size ( < 20 nm) particles were produced from a zinc acetate solution by using a filter expansion aerosol generator (FEAG). The FEAG is an aerosol generator that is operated at 60 torr reactor pressure and produces droplets of around 2 mu m. The shape of the particles produced by the FEAG were distinctively different from those produced by the ultrasonic spray source (USS). Results from scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffractometry (XRD) indicated that crystalline zinc oxide particles of nanometre size were produced at 600 degrees C in 0.02 s residence time. Weight loss of these particles, determined by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), was 3 wt%. Based on the morphology change as a function of the reactor temperature and solute concentration, we proposed that the nanometre particles were formed by uniform precipitation at the drying stage and decomposition followed by disintegration into nanometre particles. It was also shown that exothermic decomposition of the solute was not required for the disintegration of the primary particles in the FEAG process. This result opened up an opportunity for producing carbon-free nanometre particles from nitrate salts by using the FEAG.