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In this paper, dispersive propagation and radiation properties of leaky waves on metamaterial grounded slabs are investigated. The proper or improper nature of leaky modes supported by such structures is shown to be related to the metamaterial being ε-negative, μ-negative, or double-negative, and to field polarization, giving rise to backward or forward radiation depending on the frequency range of operation. These spectral features and the associated frequency scan of the radiated beam are illustrated by considering the field excited by a dipole source in the presence of an infinite metamaterial grounded slab. The possibility to achieve nearly equal values for the phase constants of a TE and a TM leaky mode on a large frequency range is shown; this allows us to obtain a conical radiation pattern and, also, for suitable values of the attenuation constants, the radiation of a pencil beam at broadside. Conditions for achieving maximum power density at broadside are derived, when one constitutive parameter is much smaller than the other. In order to illustrate these novel features, numerical results based on experimentally tested dispersion models for permittivity and permeability of the metamaterial media are provided, concerning leaky-wave modal properties and near and far fields excited by a dipole source.