Using phosphorus-doped ZnO nanowire (NW) arrays grown on silicon substrate, energy conversion using the p-type ZnO NWs has been demonstrated for the first time. The p-type ZnO NWs produce positive output voltage pulses when scanned by a conductive atomic force microscope (AFM) in contact mode. The output voltage pulse is generated when the tip contacts the stretched side (positive piezoelectric potential side) of the NW. In contrast, the n-type ZnO NW produces negative output voltage when scanned by the AFM tip, and the output voltage pulse is generated when the tip contacts the compressed side (negative potential side) of the NW. In reference to theoretical simulation, these experimentally observed phenomena have been systematically explained based on the mechanism proposed for a nanogenerator. © 2009 American Chemical Society.