This paper proposes a new method to enhance the impedance bandwidth (IBW), broadside gain, front-to-back ratio, and aperture efficiency of a rectangular microstrip patch antenna (RMPA) printed on a compact artificial magnetic conductor ground plane (AMC-GND). The technique uses large shorted unit cells at the center and a wide slot cut on the unit cells located under the patch to respectively impede the propagation of surface currents and reduce the adverse effect of the loading capacitance that is formed between the RMPA and the AMC-GND on the antenna IBW. The proposed antenna with dimensions of only 1λ0×0.6λ0×0.06λ0, realizes an IBW of 24% (6.07-7.73 GHz), peak gain of 9.93 dBi, and a simulated aperture efficiency of more than 96%. Due to its compact size, good radiation, and wide IBW performances, the presented antenna can be used in various applications, such as MIMO antenna system, wide-angle scanning antenna array and reflector feed antennas operating in satellite C-band 5.9-6.4 GHz and 6.425-6.75 GHz. It is worth mentioning that the main contribution of the current work is the investigation of the detrimental effects of the overlay capacitor on the IBW of a linearly polarized RMPA etched on a compact AMC surface using a simple equivalent circuit model.
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