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. 168-6450
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003A
HK$2.464
Each (In a Tube of 25)
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NPN 500 mA 50 V - PDIP Through Hole 16 - Common Emitter 7 1000 - - 1.6 V
RS Stock No. 686-8209
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003A
HK$3.323
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NPN 500 mA 50 V - PDIP Through Hole 16 - Common Emitter 7 1000 - - 1.6 V
RS Stock No. 486-0294
Mfr. Part No.TIP142
HK$13.326
Each (In a Pack of 5)
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NPN 10 A 100 V 5 V TO-247 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 500 - 100 V 3 V
RS Stock No. 102-4091
Mfr. Part No.TIP142
HK$10.91
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NPN 10 A 100 V 5 V TO-247 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 500 - 100 V 3 V
RS Stock No. 714-1167
Mfr. Part No.ULN2803A
HK$8.426
Each (In a Pack of 5)
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NPN 500 mA 50 V 50 V PDIP Through Hole 18 - Common Emitter 8 1000 - - 1.1 V
RS Stock No. 102-4097
Mfr. Part No.BU931P
HK$18.47
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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
RS Stock No. 774-3202
Mfr. Part No.MJ11033G
HK$90.59
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PNP 50 A 120 V 5 V TO-204 Through Hole 2 - Single 1 400 4.5 V 120 V 3.5 V
RS Stock No. 121-9878
Mfr. Part No.MJH6284G
HK$26.918
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NPN 20 A 100 V 5 V TO-247 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 100 4 V 100 V 3 V
RS Stock No. 714-1164
Mfr. Part No.ULN2802A
HK$7.538
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NPN 500 mA 50 V - PDIP Through Hole 18 - Common Emitter 8 - - - 1.1 V
RS Stock No. 168-6832
Mfr. Part No.ULN2802A
HK$6.283
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NPN 500 mA 50 V - PDIP Through Hole 18 - Common Emitter 8 - - - 1.1 V
RS Stock No. 790-5407
Mfr. Part No.MJH6284G
HK$35.59
Each (In a Pack of 2)
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NPN 20 A 100 V 5 V TO-247 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 100 4 V 100 V 3 V
RS Stock No. 426-229
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003D1013TR
HK$2.88
Each (In a Pack of 10)
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NPN 500 mA 50 V - SOIC Surface Mount 16 - Common Emitter 7 1000 - - 1.6 V
RS Stock No. 313-3197
Mfr. Part No.BU931P
HK$22.24
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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
RS Stock No. 122-0139
Mfr. Part No.MJ11033G
HK$79.36
Each (In a Tray of 100)
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PNP 50 A 120 V 5 V TO-204 Through Hole 2 - Single 1 400 4.5 V 120 V 3.5 V
RS Stock No. 168-6833
Mfr. Part No.ULN2803A
HK$4.698
Each (In a Tube of 20)
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NPN 500 mA 50 V 50 V PDIP Through Hole 18 - Common Emitter 8 1000 - - 1.1 V
RS Stock No. 919-6472
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003D1013TR
HK$1.171
Each (On a Reel of 2500)
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NPN 500 mA 50 V - SOIC Surface Mount 16 - Common Emitter 7 1000 - - 1.6 V
RS Stock No. 665-9197
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003AID
HK$4.298
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. 862-4954
Mfr. Part No.MJ11012G
HK$33.705
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. 163-0033
Mfr. Part No.MJ11012G
HK$30.48
Each (In a Tray of 100)
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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. 923-6661
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003AID
HK$3.893
Each (In a Tube of 40)
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NPN 500 mA 50 V - SOIC Surface Mount 16 - Common Emitter 7 - - - 1.6 V
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