The photon energy dependence of the optical Cooper pair breaking rate (CPBR
) is studied for compressibly strained La1.85Sr0.15CuO4 (LSCO) films and YB
a2Cu2.92Zn0.08O7-delta (YBCZO) thin films, and compared to that in YBa2Cu3O
7-delta (YBCO). Unlike YBCO, the CPBR for LSCO does not show an obvious pho
ton energy dependence. In YBCZO, the CPBR shows a strong energy dependence
similar to YBCO, but with a redshift in the peak position. Analysis of thes
e results strongly favors a physical picture based on electronic phase sepa
ration in high-Tc superconductivity.