Electron-phonon coupling in high-temperature cuprate superconductors determined from electron relaxation rates

Phys Rev Lett. 2010 Dec 17;105(25):257001. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.105.257001. Epub 2010 Dec 13.


We determined electronic relaxation times via pump-probe optical spectroscopy using sub-15 fs pulses for the normal state of two different cuprate superconductors. We show that the primary relaxation process is the electron-phonon interaction and extract a measure of its strength, the second moment of the Eliashberg function λ[ω2] = 800 ± 200 meV2 for La(1.85)Sr(0.15)CuO4 and λ[ω2] = 400 ± 100 meV2 for YBa(2)Cu(3)O(6.5). These values suggest a possible fundamental role of the electron-phonon interaction in the superconducting pairing mechanism.