InN nanorods (NRs) were grown on Si(111) substrate by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy. The growth of InN NRs has been demonstrated using an electron-beam evaporated (~2 nm) Au layer prior to the initiation of growth. The structure and morphology of as deposited Au film, annealed at 600 °C, and InN NRs were investigated using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Chemical characterization was performed with energy dispersive X-ray analysis. Single-crystalline wurtzite structure of InN NRs is verified by transmission electron microscopy. The formation process of NRs is investigated and a qualitative mechanism is proposed. © 2012, The Author(s).