The synthesis of highly aligned and ordered wurtzite ZnS single-crystal nanowires at low temperatures is crucial for their applications in electronic and optoelectronic nanodevices. In the present study, wurtzite ZnS single-crystal nanowire arrays with a preferred growth along the  direction have been successfully prepared at a low temperature of T = 120°C by employing electrochemical deposition techniques using the alumina template with 40 nm diameter pores. The microstructure of the ZnS nanowires was characterized by x-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy studies. A small deposition current is found to be favourable for the growth of wurtzite ZnS single-crystal nanowires and the cause has been discussed. © IOP Publishing Ltd.