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
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SGD4.48
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NPN 15 A 250 V 5 V TO-247 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 100 3.8 V 250 V 4 V
RS Stock No. 669-7638
Mfr. Part No.FMMT634TA
SGD0.828
Each (In a Pack of 5)
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NPN 900 mA 100 V 12 V SOT-23 Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 5000 1.65 V 120 V 0.96 V
RS Stock No. 774-3650
Mfr. Part No.TIP125G
SGD1.07
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PNP 8 A 60 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 1000 - 60 V 4 V
RS Stock No. 781-4281
Mfr. Part No.MMBTA14LT1G
SGD0.092
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NPN 300 mA 30 V 10 V SOT-23 Surface Mount 3 - Single 2 5000 - 30 V 1.5 V
RS Stock No. 921-5181
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003AIN
SGD0.925
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NPN 500 mA 50 V - PDIP Through Hole 16 - Common Emitter 7 - - - 1.6 V
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Mfr. Part No.ZTX601B
SGD1.378
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NPN 1 A 160 V 10 V E-Line Through Hole 3 - Single 1 5000 1.9 V 180 V 1.2 V
RS Stock No. 922-7712
Mfr. Part No.FZT705TC
SGD0.533
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PNP 2 A 120 V 10 V SOT-223 Surface Mount 3 + Tab - Single 1 2000 1.8 V 140 V 2.5 V
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Mfr. Part No.BDX53CTU
SGD0.979
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NPN 8 A 100 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 750 2.5 V 100 V 2 V
RS Stock No. 823-1384
Mfr. Part No.FMMTA14TA
SGD0.434
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NPN 300 mA 40 V 10 V SOT-23 Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 20000 - 40 V 1 V
RS Stock No. 168-6054
Mfr. Part No.TIP125
SGD0.784
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PNP 5 A 60 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 1000 - 60 V 4 V
RS Stock No. 919-6472
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003D1013TR
SGD0.269
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NPN 500 mA 50 V - SOIC Surface Mount 16 - Common Emitter 7 1000 - - 1.6 V
RS Stock No. 145-0190
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003APW
SGD0.776
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NPN 500 mA 50 V - TSSOP Surface Mount 16 - Common Emitter 7 - - - 1.6 V
RS Stock No. 739-0344
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NPN 500 mA 30 V 10 V TO-92 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 5000 - 30 V 1.5 V
RS Stock No. 169-8764
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SGD0.89
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NPN 8 A 80 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 2 1000 - 80 V 4 V
RS Stock No. 166-1922
Mfr. Part No.MMBTA14
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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. 823-1401
Mfr. Part No.FZT600BTA
SGD0.841
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NPN 2 A 140 V 160 V SOT-223 Surface Mount 3 + Tab - Single 1 10000 1.9 V 160 V 1.2 V
RS Stock No. 145-2830
Mfr. Part No.TIP125G
SGD0.918
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PNP 8 A 60 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 1000 - 60 V 4 V
RS Stock No. 485-9654
Mfr. Part No.TIP115
SGD1.254
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PNP 2 A 60 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 500 - 60 V 2.5 V
RS Stock No. 168-8907
Mfr. Part No.ULQ2003A
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NPN 500 mA 50 V 30 V PDIP Through Hole 16 - Common Emitter 7 1000 @ 350 mA @ 2 V - 30 V 1.6 V
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NPN 2 A 140 V 160 V SOT-223 Surface Mount 3 + Tab - Single 1 10000 1.9 V 160 V 1.2 V
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