We investigate the radiation characteristics of radially polarized light and azimuthally polarized light through plasmonic subwavelength-scale annular slit (PSAS) structures, by means of both theoretical and numerical methods. Effective-medium theory was utilized to analyze the characteristics of PSAS structures, and the corresponding results showed that PSAS structures can function as a metallic medium for azimuthally polarized light, or as a low-loss dielectric medium for radially polarized light. Numerical calculations based on the finite-element method were also performed, to verify the theoretical analyses. It turned out that the numerical results supported the theoretical results. Moreover, we exploited the PSAS structures in novel nanophotonic elements with dual functionalities that could selectively focus or pass/block incident light, depending on its polarization state. For example, if PSAS structures were implemented in the dielectric region of a metallic Fresnel zone plate, the modified zone plate could function as a blocking element to azimuthally polarized light, yet as a focusing element to radially polarized light. On the contrary, if PSAS structures were implemented in the metallic region of a metallic Fresnel zone plate (i.e. the inverted form of the former), it could function as a focusing element to azimuthally polarized light, yet as a simple transparent element to radially polarized light.
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