A patch antenna (also known as a rectangular microstrip antenna) is a type of radio antenna with a low profile, which can be mounted on a flat surface. It consists of a flat rectangular sheet or "patch" of metal, mounted over a larger sheet of metal called a ground plane. They are the original type of microstrip antenna described by Howell in 1972; the two metal sheets together form a resonant piece of microstrip transmission line with a length of approximately one-half wavelength of the radio waves. The radiation mechanism arises from discontinuities at each truncated edge of the microstrip transmission line. The radiation at the edges causes the antenna to act slightly larger electrically than its physical dimensions, so in order for the antenna to be resonant, a length of microstrip transmission line slightly shorter than one-half a wavelength at the frequency is used.
A variant of the patch antenna commonly used in mobile phones is the shorted patch antenna, or planar inverted-F antenna (PIFA). In this antenna, one corner of the patch (or sometimes one edge) is grounded with a ground pin. This variant has better matching than the standard patch.
- "Microstrip Antennas," IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation, Williamsburg Virginia, 1972 pp. 177-180
- "Radiation from Microstrip Radiators," IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, April 1969, Vol. 17, No. 4 pp.235-236