We report the melting behaviours of ZnO nanowire by heating ZnO-Al 2O3 core-shell heterostructures to form Al 2O3 nanotubes in an in situ ultrahigh vacuum transmission electron microscope (UHV-TEM). When the ZnO-Al2O3 core-shell nanowire heterostructures were annealed at 600°C under electron irradiation, the amorphous Al2O3 shell became single crystalline and then the ZnO core melted. The average vanishing rate of the ZnO core was measured to be 4.2 nm s-1. The thickness of the Al 2O3 nanotubes can be precisely controlled by the deposition process. Additionally, the inner geometry of nanotubes can be defined by the initial ZnO core. The result shows a promising method to obtain the biocompatible Al2O3 nanotubes, which may be applied in drug delivery, biochemistry and resistive switching random access memory (ReRAM).