Nanowire arrays of cubic zinc sulfide are synthesized on zinc foil by a simple thermal evaporation route at relatively low temperature (<500 °C). A self-catalytic liquid-solid growth is proposed for the formation of the nanowires. Influence of the synthesis temperatures on the morphological features of the ZnS nanowires is studied. Growth sequence of the nanowires with synthesis time is also studied through scanning electron microscopy. These nanowires grow along the  direction and remain perpendicular to the surface of the Zn substrate. Room temperature photoluminescence measurement exhibit UV and blue emission peaks at around 350 and 397 nm, respectively. These ZnS nanowires exhibited good field emission properties similar to those of conventional field emitters.