Vertically well aligned ZnO nanorods (NRs) were grown on Si(100) substrate using RF magnetron sputtering technique. Scanning electron microscopy images confirms uniform distribution of NRs on 2 in. wafer with average diameter, height and density being ∼75 nm, ∼850 nm, and ∼1.5 × 1010 cm-2, respectively. X-ray diffraction reveals that the ZnO NRs are grown along c-axis direction with wurtzite crystal structure. Cathodoluminescence spectroscopy, which shows a single strong peak around 3.24 eV with full width half maxima 130 meV, indicates the high crystalline and optical quality of ZnO and very low defect density. Vertically aligned nanosensors were fabricated by depositing gold circular Schottky contacts on ZnO NRs. Resistance responses of nanosensors were observed in the range from 50 to 150°C in 1% and 5% hydrogen in argon environment, which is below and above the explosive limit (4%) of hydrogen in air. The nanosensor's sensitivity increases from 11% to 67% with temperature from 50 to 150°C and also shows fast response time (9-16 s) and moderate recovery time (100-200 s). A sensing mechanism is proposed based on Schottky barrier changes at heterojunctions and change in depletion region of NRs. © 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.