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. 485-9991
Mfr. Part No.BD678A
SGD1.33
Each (In a Pack of 5)
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PNP 4 A 60 V 5 V SOT-32 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 750 - 60 V 2.8 V
RS Stock No. 486-0042
Mfr. Part No.BDX53B
SGD1.52
Each (In a Pack of 5)
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NPN 8 A 80 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 750 2.5 V 80 V 2 V
RS Stock No. 166-1462
Mfr. Part No.BSP52,115
BrandNexperia
SGD0.353
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NPN 1 A 80 V 5 V SOT-223 (SC-73) Surface Mount 4 - Single 1 1000 1.9 V 90 V 1.3 V
RS Stock No. 807-5178
Mfr. Part No.BDW94CFTU
SGD1.204
Each (In a Pack of 10)
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PNP -12 A 100 V - TO-220F Through Hole 3 - Single 1 100 -2.5 V -100 V -2 V
RS Stock No. 922-7627
Mfr. Part No.FZT600TA
SGD0.462
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NPN 2 A 140 V 10 V SOT-223 Surface Mount 3 + Tab - Single 1 1000 1.9 V 160 V 1.2 V
RS Stock No. 485-9042
Mfr. Part No.BDW93C
SGD1.13
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NPN 12 A 100 V - TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 100 4 V 100 V 3 V
RS Stock No. 184-1112
Mfr. Part No.TIP117G
SGD0.873
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PNP 2 (Continuous) A, 4 (Peak) A 100 V dc 5 V dc TO-220 Through Hole 3 Single Single 1 500 - 100 V dc 2.5 V dc
RS Stock No. 688-1505
Mfr. Part No.MJD117T4G
SGD0.905
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PNP 4 A 100 V 5 V DPAK (TO-252) Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 200 4 V 100 V 3 V
RS Stock No. 829-4020
Mfr. Part No.BU931T
SGD3.395
Each (In a Pack of 2)
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NPN 10 A 400 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 300 2.5 V - 1.8 V
RS Stock No. 296-194
Mfr. Part No.BDX34C
BrandMagnatec
SGD0.89
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PNP 10 A 100 V - TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 750 - 100 V 2.5 V
RS Stock No. 665-8790
Mfr. Part No.SN75469D
SGD1.57
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NPN 500 mA 100 V - SOIC Surface Mount 16 - Common Emitter 7 - - - 1.6 V
RS Stock No. 184-1413
Mfr. Part No.TIP36CG
SGD3.855
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PNP 25 (Continuous) A, 40 (Peak) A 100 V dc 5 V dc SOT-93 Through Hole 3 Single Single 1 15 - 100 V dc 4 V dc
RS Stock No. 688-1502
Mfr. Part No.MJ11015G
SGD11.18
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PNP 30 A 120 V 5 V TO-204 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 200 5 V 120 V 4 V
RS Stock No. 2508958913
Mfr. Part No.NTE214
SGD9.46
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