Development of electron beam physical vapor deposited (EB-PVD) thermal barrier coatings (TBC) aims at low conductivity, increased temperature capability, and longer life. Considerable progress has been achieved by comprehensive understanding of the evolvement of the porous microstructure in columnar ceramic topcoats and its application to tailoring optimized micro-structures. New ceramic compositions such as alternative stabilizers in zirconia, hafnia modified coatings, and pyrochlores are addressed. They have demonstrated their potential for future TBC applications. New results of both microstructure and chemistry are presented together with a summary of recent research results.