High density nanoparticle arrays on surfaces have been created using a template-assisted approach. Templates were produced by evaporating aluminum onto substrates and subsequently anodizing the aluminum to produce nanoporous alumina films. The resulting templates have a narrow distribution of pore sizes tunable from ∼ 25 to ∼ 70 nm. To demonstrate the flexibility of this approach for producing nanoparticle arrays on various substrates, templates have been fabricated on silicon oxide, silicon, and gold surfaces. In all cases, a final chemical etching step yielded pores that extended completely through the template to the underlying substrate. Because the templates remain in intimate contact with the substrate throughout processing, they may be used with either vacuum-based or wet chemical deposition methods to direct the deposition of nanoparticles onto the underlying substrates. Here we have produced gold nanodot arrays using evaporation and gold nanorod arrays by electrodeposition. In each case, the diameter and height of the nanoparticles can be controlled using the confining dimensions of the templates, resulting in high density (∼ 1010 cm–2) arrays of nanoparticles over large areas (> 1 cm2).