Abstract

We propose a direct electron acceleration scheme that uses a two-color pulsed radially polarized laser beam. The two-color scheme achieves electron acceleration exceeding 90% of the theoretical energy gain limit, over twice of what is possible with a one-color pulsed beam of equal total energy and pulse duration. The scheme succeeds by exploiting the Gouy phase shift to cause an acceleration-favoring interference of fields only as the electron enters its effectively final accelerating cycle. Optimization conditions and power scaling characteristics are discussed.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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