We present measurements of the complex conductivity σ in Y1_xPrxBa2Cu3O7_5 thin films using impulsive THz spectroscopy, where x = 0,0, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4. Experiments performed in this system are of great interest to contemporary theories of high-Tc superconductivity for several reasons. First, the "marginal Fermi liquid" (MFL) theory of high-Tc superconductivity posits an unusual temperature and frequency dependence of the quasiparticle scattering rate τ. Ours are the first measurements of T in the THz regime for any Mgh-Tc superconductor; the effects predicted by MFL theory should be significant in this spectral range. Second, measurements of σ2 as a function of temperature yield the London penetration depth λ(T), which is related to the superconducting carrier density n,. Different dependences of ns upon T are expected for d- and s-wave pairing; we have measured λ(T) and compared it to theoretical predictions. Finally, the introduction of alloy scattering is expected to give rise to effects in σ1(T). We experimentally observe the so-called "anomalous coherence peak" in σ1(T) in all four samples.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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