Darlington Pairs

What are Darlington Pairs?

Darlington pairs, also called Darlington transistors, are a package of two standard BJT transistors (bipolar junction transistor). One of the transistors is high-gain while the other is high current. They are used to amplify weak signals from one circuit to another circuit or microprocessor. This means that the tiny current from a sensor or micro controller I/O pin can be amplified to drive a large load. Darlington pairs can also be operated as an ON/OFF switch.

Darlington pairs work together as a single transistor but feature a much higher current gain. They also offer high input impedance in comparison to single transistors.

How do they work?

The emitter of one transistor is connected to the base of the other transistor which effectively creates one transistor.

Why should you use a Darlington pair?

Darlington pairs provide a very high current gain. Working as two transistors within one package, Darlington pairs have a very compact footprint which takes up minimal space on a board.

What applications do you use them in?

With high current gain, Darlington transistors are well suited to power applications such as driving motors and relays. Darlington pairs are ideal for application in display drivers, audio outputs, power regulators, light sensors, touch sensors and power supply outputs. It is not recommended to use them in applications that require high frequency as it is not possible to shut the base current off immediately.

Different types

Darlington pairs can consist of either NPN (negative-positive-negative) transistors, PNP (positive-negative-positive) transistors or both.

Darlington pairs are typically supplied in one of two ways. You can purchase them as an array (called a Darlington array) within a single integrated circuit (IC) package, or as a simple single discrete component.

Standard package type examples include SOT-23, SOIC, TO-220 and TO-252 (DPAK).

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RS Stock No. 100-7580
Mfr. Part No.MJD127G
TWD20.20
Each (In a Tube of 75)
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PNP 8 A 100 V 5 V DPAK (TO-252) Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 100 4.5 V 100 V 4 V
RS Stock No. 862-4954
Mfr. Part No.MJ11012G
TWD230.50
Each (In a Pack of 2)
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NPN 30 A 60 V 5 V TO-204AA Through Hole 2 - Single 2 200 5 V 60 V 4 V
RS Stock No. 664-1341
Mfr. Part No.2SB888-AA
BrandSanyo
TWD19.40
Each (In a Pack of 5)
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PNP -700 mA -50 V -10 V NP Through Hole 3 - - 2 3000 -2 V -80 V -1.2 V
RS Stock No. 665-9204
Mfr. Part No.ULQ2003AD
TWD18.30
Each (In a Pack of 10)
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NPN 500 mA 50 V - SOIC Surface Mount 16 - Common Emitter 7 - - - 1.6 V
RS Stock No. 774-3669
Mfr. Part No.TIP140G
TWD63.00
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NPN 10 A 60 V 5 V TO-247 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 500 3.5 V 60 V 3 V
RS Stock No. 166-1922
Mfr. Part No.MMBTA14
TWD1.60
Each (On a Reel of 3000)
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NPN 1.2 A 30 V 10 V SOT-23 Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 20000 - 30 V 1.5 V
RS Stock No. 760-6043
Mfr. Part No.MMBTA64
TWD2.80
Each (In a Pack of 100)
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PNP -1.2 A 30 V -10 V SOT-23 Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 20000 - -30 V -1.5 V
RS Stock No. 664-1317
Mfr. Part No.2SD1853-AA
BrandSanyo
TWD15.80
Each (In a Pack of 5)
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NPN 1.5 A 60 V 6 V NP Through Hole 3 - - 2 1000 2 V 80 V 1.5 V
RS Stock No. 2508963117
Mfr. Part No.NTE249
TWD357.00
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Mfr. Part No.NTE214
TWD222.00
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Mfr. Part No.NTE46
TWD95.00
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Mfr. Part No.NTE243
TWD162.00
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Mfr. Part No.NTE245
TWD218.00
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