The real and imaginary parts of the optical conductivity (?1 i?2) in the superconducting state of YBa2Cu3O7?? thin films have been obtained by submillimeter spectroscopy for frequencies from 3 to 35 cm?1. The quasiparticle relaxation can be directly observed in this frequency range. A Drude-type analysis allows to extract the temperature dependence of the scattering rate. The collapse of the relaxation rates provides clear experimental evidence that the spin fluctuations become gapped below TC.
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