Z. Gong, F. Mackenroth, T. Wang, X. Q. Yan, T. Toncian, and A. Arefiev, "Direct laser acceleration of electrons assisted by strong laser-driven azimuthal plasma magnetic fields", Phys. Rev. E 102, 013206 (2020).
A high-intensity laser beam propagating through a dense plasma drives a strong current that robustly sustains a strong quasistatic azimuthal magnetic field. The laser field efficiently accelerates electrons in such a field that confines the transverse motion and deflects the electrons in the forward direction. Its advantage is a threshold rather than resonant behavior, accelerating electrons to high energies for sufficiently strong laser-driven currents. We study the electron dynamics via a test-electron model, specifically deriving the corresponding critical current density. We confirm the model’s predictions by numerical simulations, indicating energy gains two orders of magnitude higher than achievable without the magnetic field.