A. P. L. Robinson and A. Arefiev, "Interaction of an electron with coherent dipole radiation: role of convergence and anti-dephasing", Phys. Plasmas 25 053107 (2018).
The impact of longitudinal electric fields that are present in intense focusing and defocusing electromagnetic pulses on electron acceleration is investigated. These fields are typically much weaker than the transverse fields, but it is shown that they can have a profound effect on electron energy gain. It is shown that the longitudinal electric field of a defocusing pulse is directed backward along the trajectory of an accelerated electron, which leads to a continuous net energy gain. At the same time, the effect of the transverse oscillating electric field in a defocusing pulse is to reduce the electron energy over multiple oscillations. In contrast to a well-known interaction with a plane wave, the electron is able to retain a substantial amount of energy following its interaction with a defocusing pulse. The roles of the transverse and longitudinal electric fields are reversed in a focusing pulse, which leads to a reduction in the energy retention. The present analysis underscores the importance of relatively weak oscillating electric fields in focusing and defocusing pulses.