The distribution of shallow traps within the sol-gel synthesized ZnO nanoparticles was investigated using thermoluminescence (TL) experiments in the 10-300 K temperature range. TL measurements presented two overlapped peaks around 110 and 155 K. The experimental technique based on radiating the nanoparticles at different temperatures (T-exc.) between 60 and 125 K was carried out to understand the trap distribution characteristics of peaks. It was observed that peak maximum temperature shifted to higher values and activation energy (E-t) increased as irradiating temperature was increased. The E-t vs. T-exc. presented that ZnO nanoparticles have quasi-continuously distributed traps possessing activation energies increasing from 80 to 171 meV. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.