Scintillators are ideal candidates used in detectors for X-ray ,γ-ray and high energy ray , and have been widely applied in nuclear medicine , high energy physics ,geologic survey , security inspection and material flaw detection. The high density of HfO2 is an attractive compound for host lattice activated by rare earth for applications as scintillating materials. This paper reported the synthesis of Eu3+ doped HfO2 nanopowders by chemical self-combustion method at low temperature. Analytical grade Eu(NO3)3 and high pure HfOCl2 were used as raw materials. The requisite amount of urea and glycine as the mixed fuel were added to the mixed solution. A little EDTA was used as a complexant. The mixed solution was dried at 200°C, and fired at 450°C. The powders synthesized by self-combustion were then calcined at 800°C to profit the crystal growth and improve the luminescent properties. XRD, TEM were employed to analyze the phase composition and the characteristics of as-obtained powders. The TEM images display typical nano-structured morphology of Eu3+ doped HfO2. Analysis of XRD indicates that Eu3+ doped HfO2 nanopowders are cubic phase. The excitation and emission spectra were analyzed by the fluorescence photometer. There are two peaks in emission spectra .One is at 595nm, and another is at 614nm. The luminescent properties also reveal the structure of cubic phase.