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. 665-8699
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003ADR
HK$3.311
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
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HK$8.98
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NPN 8 A 100 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 500 - 100 V 4 V
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Mfr. Part No.TIP147
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PNP 10 A 100 V 5 V TO-247 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 500 - 100 V 3 V
RS Stock No. 545-0494
Mfr. Part No.TIP102G
HK$7.11
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NPN 8 A 100 V 5 V TO-220AB Through Hole 3 - Single 1 200 - 100 V 2.5 V
RS Stock No. 103-1078
Mfr. Part No.TIP122
HK$2.423
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NPN 8 A 100 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 1000 - 100 V 4 V
RS Stock No. 168-6442
Mfr. Part No.ULN2001D1013TR
HK$1.419
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. 121-8478
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003AD
HK$4.056
Each (In a Tube of 40)
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NPN 500 mA 50 V 50 V SOIC Surface Mount 16 - Common Emitter 7 - - - 1.6 V
RS Stock No. 102-4096
Mfr. Part No.TIP132
HK$6.987
Each (In a Tube of 50)
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NPN 8 A 100 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 500 - 100 V 4 V
RS Stock No. 177-5536
Mfr. Part No.A2982SLWTR-T
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NPN + PNP 500 mA 50 V - SOIC W Surface Mount 20 - - 8 - - - 2 V
RS Stock No. 124-5325
Mfr. Part No.MJH11022G
HK$26.721
Each (In a Tube of 30)
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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. 163-2366
Mfr. Part No.BDW42G
HK$4.478
Each (In a Tube of 50)
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NPN 15 A 100 V 5 V TO-220AB Through Hole 3 - Single 1 250 - 100 V 3 V
RS Stock No. 486-0301
Mfr. Part No.TIP147
HK$16.90
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PNP 10 A 100 V 5 V TO-247 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 500 - 100 V 3 V
RS Stock No. 545-2513
Mfr. Part No.BDW42G
HK$5.748
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NPN 15 A 100 V 5 V TO-220AB Through Hole 3 - Single 1 250 - 100 V 3 V
RS Stock No. 921-5181
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003AINE4
HK$5.245
Each (In a Tube of 25)
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NPN 500 mA 50 V - PDIP Through Hole 16 - Common Emitter 7 - - - 1.6 V
RS Stock No. 680-7220
Mfr. Part No.A2982SLWTR-T
HK$20.02
Each (In a Pack of 5)
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NPN + PNP 500 mA 50 V - SOIC W Surface Mount 20 - - 8 - - - 2 V
RS Stock No. 178-4739
Mfr. Part No.TIP102G
HK$6.672
Each (In a Tube of 50)
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- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
RS Stock No. 100-3837
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003AN
HK$6.253
Each (In a Tube of 25)
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NPN 500 mA 50 V 50 V PDIP Through Hole 16 - Common Emitter 7 - - - 1.6 V
RS Stock No. 922-2987
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003ADR
HK$1.882
Each (On a Reel of 2500)
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NPN 500 mA 50 V - SOIC Surface Mount 16 - Common Emitter 7 - - - 1.6 V
RS Stock No. 790-5397
Mfr. Part No.MJH11022G
HK$32.42
Each (In a Pack of 2)
units
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. 686-8155
Mfr. Part No.ULN2001D1013TR
HK$3.06
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NPN 500 mA 50 V - SOIC Surface Mount 16 - Common Emitter 7 1000 - - 1.6 V
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