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. 922-7762
Mfr. Part No.ZTX605
SGD0.651
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NPN 1 A 120 V 10 V E-Line Through Hole 3 - Single 1 500 1.8 V 140 V 1.5 V
RS Stock No. 688-9408
Mfr. Part No.MC1413BDG
SGD0.65
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NPN 500 mA 50 V 5 V SOIC Surface Mount 16 - Common Emitter 7 1000 - - 1.6 V
RS Stock No. 168-6057
Mfr. Part No.BD682
SGD0.891
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PNP 4 A 100 V 5 V SOT-32 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 750 - 100 V 2.5 V
RS Stock No. 178-7560
Mfr. Part No.MC1413BDR2G
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Mfr. Part No.ULN2003AD
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NPN 500 mA 50 V 50 V SOIC Surface Mount 16 - Common Emitter 7 - - - 1.6 V
RS Stock No. 862-4963
Mfr. Part No.MJ11021G
SGD10.55
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PNP -30 A 250 V -50 V TO-204 Through Hole 2 - Single 2 100 -3.8 V -250 V -3.4 V
RS Stock No. 168-6832
Mfr. Part No.ULN2802A
SGD1.418
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NPN 500 mA 50 V - PDIP Through Hole 18 - Common Emitter 8 - - - 1.1 V
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Mfr. Part No.MC1413BDG
SGD0.314
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RS Stock No. 655-593
Mfr. Part No.ZTX605
SGD1.378
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NPN 1 A 120 V 10 V E-Line Through Hole 3 - Single 1 500 1.8 V 140 V 1.5 V
RS Stock No. 145-5290
Mfr. Part No.MJ11021G
SGD7.90
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PNP -30 A 250 V -50 V TO-204 Through Hole 2 - Single 2 100 -3.8 V -250 V -3.4 V
RS Stock No. 665-8699
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003ADR
SGD0.741
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NPN 500 mA 50 V - SOIC Surface Mount 16 - Common Emitter 7 - - - 1.6 V
RS Stock No. 102-4095
Mfr. Part No.TIP102
SGD0.926
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NPN 8 A 100 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 200 - 100 V 2.5 V
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NPN 500 mA 50 V - PDIP Through Hole 18 - Common Emitter 8 - - - 1.1 V
RS Stock No. 145-3891
Mfr. Part No.2N6039G
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NPN 4 A 80 V 5 V TO-225AA Through Hole 3 - Single 1 100 4 V 80 V 3 V
RS Stock No. 166-2351
Mfr. Part No.KSH127TF
SGD0.365
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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 -2 V
RS Stock No. 313-3204
Mfr. Part No.BD681
SGD1.41
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NPN 4 A 100 V 5 V SOT-32 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 750 - 100 V 2.5 V
RS Stock No. 806-4560
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RS Stock No. 102-4093
Mfr. Part No.BD681
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NPN 4 A 100 V 5 V SOT-32 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 750 - 100 V 2.5 V
RS Stock No. 774-3426
Mfr. Part No.2N6039G
SGD0.922
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NPN 4 A 80 V 5 V TO-225AA Through Hole 3 - Single 1 100 4 V 80 V 3 V
RS Stock No. 102-4097
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NPN 15 A 400 V 5 V TO-247 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 300 2.5 V - 1.8 V
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