Abstract

A single stationary electron in vacuum subjected to a single high-intensity subcycle pulsed focused vector beam is shown to gain tens of MeV energies. If the initial velocity direction of the electron is parallel to the moving direction of the pulse, the sub-MeV electrons can be accelerated to sub-GeV energies. It is found that the particle can obtain a higher net energy gain before it leaves the light beam if the full width at half-maximum of the pulse is larger. The reason is that there is an intrinsic chirp of subcycle pulse; the electron can accumulate more net kinetic energy within a longer interaction time interval. Due to the intrinsic chirp of subcycle pulses, the maximum energy gain obtained from the interaction with the pulse is dependent on the beam width and the carrier-envelope phase of the pulse. If the initial velocity direction of the electron is perpendicular to the moving direction of the pulse, the sub-MeV electrons can be accelerated to tens of MeV energies by a single high-intensity subcycle pulse.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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