Scattered polynomials over a finite field $\mathbb{F}_{q^n}$ have been introduced by Sheekey in 2016, and a central open problem regards the classification of those that are exceptional. So far, only two families of exceptional scattered polynomials are known... Very recently, Longobardi and Zanella weakened the property of being scattered by introducing the notion of L-$q^t$-partially scattered and R-$q^t$-partially scattered polynomials, for $t$ a divisor of $n$. Indeed, a polynomial is scattered if and only if it is both L-$q^t$-partially scattered and R-$q^t$-partially scattered. In this paper, by using techniques from algebraic geometry over finite fields and function fields theory, we show that the property which is is the hardest to be preserved is the L-$q^t$-partially scattered one. On the one hand, we are able to extend the classification results of exceptional scattered polynomials to exceptional L-$q^t$-partially scattered polynomials. On the other hand, the R-$q^t$-partially scattered property seems more stable. We present a large family of R-$q^t$-partially scattered polynomials, containing examples of exceptional R-$q^t$-partially scattered polynomials, which turn out to be connected with linear sets of so-called pseudoregulus type. In order to detect new examples of polynomials which are R-$q^t$-partially scattered, we introduce two different notions of equivalence preserving this property and concerning natural actions of the groups ${\rm \Gamma L}(2,q^n)$ and ${\rm \Gamma L}(2n/t,q^t)$. In particular, our family contains many examples of inequivalent polynomials, and geometric arguments are used to determine the equivalence classes under the action of ${\rm \Gamma L}(2n/t,q^t)$. read more

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Combinatorics
Number Theory
11T06, 51E20, 51E22, 05B25