Mater. Chem. Front., 2021, 5(3): 1283-1294. https://doi.org/10.1039/D0QM00662A
Themoelectric materials exhibit great potential in alleviating the energy shortage and environmental pollution. The development of homologous series is helpful for understanding the relationship between structure and properties, thereby providing new strategies for seeking high-performance thermoelectric materials. Among the various structure prototypes, pavonite is a rising star and has received increasing attention as a potential n-type thermoelectric material owing to their diverse structures and extremely low thermal conductivity. In this review, we summarized the structural characteristics of pavonite and introduced the relationship between structure and thermoelectric performance. The pavonite structure consists of two alternating slabs with separately tunable thicknesses, and has wide adaptability for elemental substitution. Specifically, the participation of heavy atoms in the pavonite structure results in large unit cell volume and Grüneisen parameters, and thus extremely low lattice thermal conductivity. Finally, we briefly discussed the potential of pavonite compounds in thermoelectric applications.