We present detailed measurements of the differential resistance (d V /d I ) of state-of-the-art FM/AlO x /FM magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJ) as a function of applied bias and temperature. Temperature effects are particularly significant in physical quantities involving narrow features such as those at low-voltage bias. We show that the temperature evolution of the tunneling characteristics and, in particular, the pronounced rounding of the d V /d I curves with increasing temperature can be well explained by thermal smearing of the tunneling electron energy distribution.
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