In this study, the large-scale ZnO and ZnS rods at sub-micrometer were prepared on soda lime glass substrate using a spray pyrolysis method. The microstructure of the rods was characterized by X-ray diffractometry and scanning electron microscopy with the energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and the optical properties were investigated. XRD and SEM results show that the wurtzite structure and rodlike ZnO and ZnS at micro scale were obtained. The optical band gap values were 3.22 and 3.44 eV for ZnO and ZnS microrods, respectively. The obtained samples were tested for their photocatalytic ability using them for the degradation of methylene blue ( MB, 1 x 10(-5) M). Results show that the dye can be degraded at quite high rate (74.0 +/- 3.7% for ZnO and 65.0 +/- 5% for ZnS) by both films under a 365 nm UV light after a 60 min exposure period. The materials were re-checked after the treatment and microstructures were observed mainly unchanged. (C) 2012 Elsevier B. . All rights reserved.