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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NPN 8 A 100 V 5 V DPAK (TO-252) Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 100 4.5 V 100 V 4 V
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Mfr. Part No.FMMT634TA
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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. 807-1022
Mfr. Part No.FMBA14
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NPN 1.2 A 30 V 10 V SOT-23 Surface Mount 6 - Single 1 10000 - 30 V 1.5 V
RS Stock No. 669-7329
Mfr. Part No.FMMT38CTA
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NPN 300 mA 60 V 10 V SOT-23 Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 5000 - 80 V 1.25 V
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NPN 5 A dc 80 V dc 5 V dc TO-220 Through Hole 3 Single Single 1 1000 - 80 V dc 4 V dc
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NPN 4 A 350 V 5 V DPAK (TO-252) Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 300 2 V 700 V 1.5 V
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BrandOptek
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- - - - TO-18 Through Hole - - - - - - - -
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NPN 10 A 80 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 100 - 80 V 3 V
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HK$6.47
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NPN 10 A dc 60 V dc 5 V dc TO-220 Through Hole 3 Single Single 1 1000 - 60 V dc 3 V dc
RS Stock No. 103-5699
Mfr. Part No.BCV49,115
BrandNexperia
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NPN 500 mA 60 V 10 V UPAK Surface Mount 4 - Single 1 2000 1.5 V 80 V 1 V
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NPN 500 mA 60 V 10 V SOT-23 Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 2000 1.5 V 80 V 1 V
RS Stock No. 145-2830
Mfr. Part No.TIP125G
HK$5.11
Each (In a Tube of 50)
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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. 545-0242
Mfr. Part No.MJD31CG
HK$3.88
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NPN - 100 V 5 V DPAK (TO-252) Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 10 - 100 V 1.2 V
RS Stock No. 168-6447
Mfr. Part No.ULN2804A
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Each (In a Tube of 20)
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- - 50 V - PDIP Through Hole 18 - - - - - - -
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HK$4.553
Each (In a Tube of 50)
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PNP 8 A 100 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 750 2.5 V 100 V 2 V
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Mfr. Part No.FCX605TA
HK$4.60
Each (In a Pack of 25)
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NPN 1 A 120 V 10 V SOT-89 Surface Mount 3 - Single 1 5000 1.8 V 140 V 1.5 V
RS Stock No. 124-1409
Mfr. Part No.TIP126TU
HK$5.28
Each (In a Tube of 50)
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PNP -5 A 80 V -5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 2 1000 - -80 V -2 V
RS Stock No. 712-2882
Mfr. Part No.ZXTP05120HFFTA
HK$4.141
Each (In a Pack of 10)
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PNP -1 A 120 V -10 V SOT-23F Surface Mount 3 - Single 2 2000 -1.7 V -140 V -2 V
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NPN 500 mA 50 V - PDIP Through Hole 16 - Common Emitter 7 1000 - - 1.6 V
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