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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Description Price Transistor Type Maximum Continuous Collector Current Maximum Collector Emitter Voltage Maximum Emitter Base Voltage Package Type Mounting Type Pin Count Configuration Transistor Configuration Number of Elements per Chip Minimum DC Current Gain Maximum Base Emitter Saturation Voltage Maximum Collector Base Voltage Maximum Collector Emitter Saturation Voltage
RS Stock No. 463-189
Mfr. Part No.MJD122T4G
TWD16.60
Each (In a Pack of 20)
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NPN 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. 162-6796
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003V12DR
TWD7.50
Each (On a Reel of 2500)
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NPN 140 mA 20 V - SOIC Surface Mount 16 - Common Emitter 7 - - - 0.75 V
RS Stock No. 792-4694
Mfr. Part No.MJF122G
TWD29.00
Each (In a Pack of 5)
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NPN 8 A 100 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 1000 - 100 V 3.5 V dc
RS Stock No. 823-3043
Mfr. Part No.MMBTA63-7-F
TWD2.30
Each (In a Pack of 200)
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PNP -500 mA 30 V -10 V SOT-23 Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 10000 -2 V -30 V -1.5 V
RS Stock No. 601-1416
Mfr. Part No.2SB1481(Q)
BrandToshiba
TWD30.40
Each (In a Pack of 5)
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PNP 4 A 100 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - - 1 1000 2 V 100 V 1.5 V
RS Stock No. 790-5482
Mfr. Part No.TIP111G
TWD18.40
Each (In a Pack of 10)
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NPN 2 A 80 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 500 - 80 V 2.5 V
RS Stock No. 100-7578
Mfr. Part No.MJD122T4G
TWD7.80
Each (On a Reel of 2500)
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NPN 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. 752-8072
Mfr. Part No.BCV46E6327HTSA1
BrandInfineon
TWD2.20
Each (In a Pack of 50)
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PNP 500 mA 60 V 10 V SOT-23 Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 2000 1.5 V 80 V 1 V
RS Stock No. 517-0766
Mfr. Part No.SN75468D
TWD27.60
Each (In a Pack of 5)
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NPN 500 mA 100 V - SOIC Surface Mount 16 - Common Emitter 7 - - - -
RS Stock No. 197-7634
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003AIPWR
TWD16.70
Each (In a Pack of 25)
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NPN - 50 V - TSSOP - 16 - - 1 - - - -
RS Stock No. 197-7633
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003AIPWR
TWD7.40
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NPN - 50 V - TSSOP - 16 - - 1 - - - -
RS Stock No. 2508962473
Mfr. Part No.NTE245
TWD218.00
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Mfr. Part No.NTE46
TWD95.00
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Mfr. Part No.NTE214
TWD222.00
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Mfr. Part No.NTE243
TWD162.00
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Mfr. Part No.NTE249
TWD357.00
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