Micro/nanostructured systems based on metallic oxide (ZnO) with noble metal (Ag) on the surface (Ag/ZnO) are synthesized by solvothermal method from zinc nitrate hexahydrate (Zn(NO3)(2)center dot 6H(2)O), zinc acetate dehydrate (Zn(CH3COO)(2)center dot 2H(2)O), zinc acetylacetonate hydrate (Zn(C5H7O2)2 center dot xH(2)O) and silver nitrate (Ag(NO3)) as precursors. In these systems, polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) is used as surfactant for controlling particle morphology, size and dispersion. The obtained materials are characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR-TEM), UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), N-2 gas adsorption-desorption (BET) and Raman spectroscopy (RS). By XRD results, all major peaks are indexed to the hexagonal wurtzite-type structure of the ZnO and samples with noble metal, extra diffraction peaks are detected which correspond to the face-centered-cubic (fcc) structure of the metallic Ag. Depending on used precursor, different morphologies have been obtained. Mainly, ZnO prims-like rods- NRs (with 0.8 <= aspect ratio >= 3.4)- have been observed. Quasi-spherical particles of metallic Ag (with diameters between 558 +/- 111 mu m and 22 +/- 1 nm) have been detected on the ZnO surface. Photocatalytic results (all samples studied >30% MB degradation) verify the important effect of surfactant and the viability of synthesized AgiZnO micro/nanocomposites for environmental applications. (C) 2016 The Society of Powder Technology Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. and The Society of Powder Technology Japan. All rights reserved.