A heterostructure of Ag/ZnO powder was prepared by a reduction of Ag(NH3) 2 + ions in a basic solution or Tollen’s reagent. From this method, the existence of a metallic Ag coating on the ZnO surface was confirmed by transmission electron microscope and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The photocatalytic activity of the Ag/ZnO powders was investigated by analyzing the degradation of an aqueous methylene blue solution under a blacklight irradiation. Furthermore, the parameters, including Ag content, catalyst loading, initial dye concentration and pH, were also studied. After the methylene blue solution was irradiated for 30min under a blacklight illumination, total mineralization was not observed as the presence of some carbon compound species was indicated in a mass spectrum. Furthermore, the toxicity of the treated methylene blue solution produced by the Ag/ZnO powders was also investigated by a test for the inhibition of the growth of Chlorella vulgaris.