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. 809-5475
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003LVDR
HK$5.47
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NPN 140 mA 8 V - SOIC Surface Mount 16 - Common Emitter 7 - - - 0.49 V
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NPN 1.75 A 50 V - PDIP Through Hole 16 - Common Emitter 4 - - - 1.4 V
RS Stock No. 688-1502
Mfr. Part No.MJ11015G
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PNP 30 A 120 V 5 V TO-204 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 200 5 V 120 V 4 V
RS Stock No. 103-5055
Mfr. Part No.MJ11015G
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PNP 30 A 120 V 5 V TO-204 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 200 5 V 120 V 4 V
RS Stock No. 463-000
Mfr. Part No.MJ11016G
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NPN 30 A 120 V 5 V TO-204 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 200 5 V 120 V 4 V
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NPN 30 A 120 V 5 V TO-204 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 200 5 V 120 V 4 V
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Mfr. Part No.2N6667G
HK$6.355
Each (In a Pack of 10)
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PNP 10 A 60 V 5 V TO-220AB Through Hole 3 - Single 1 1000 4.5 V dc 60 V dc 3 V dc
RS Stock No. 102-4092
Mfr. Part No.BDW93C
HK$5.83
Each (In a Tube of 50)
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NPN 12 A 100 V - TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 100 4 V 100 V 3 V
RS Stock No. 122-0071
Mfr. Part No.MJ11016G
HK$46.29
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NPN 30 A 120 V 5 V TO-204 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 200 5 V 120 V 4 V
RS Stock No. 178-1409
Mfr. Part No.BD680
HK$6.02
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PNP 4 A 80 V 5 V SOT-32 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 750 - 80 V 2.5 V
RS Stock No. 665-9204
Mfr. Part No.ULQ2003AD
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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. 162-6795
Mfr. Part No.ULN2003LVDR
HK$2.12
Each (On a Reel of 2500)
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NPN 140 mA 8 V - SOIC Surface Mount 16 - Common Emitter 7 - - - 0.49 V
RS Stock No. 163-0840
Mfr. Part No.2N6052G
HK$44.599
Each (In a Tray of 100)
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PNP 12 A 100 V 5 V TO-204 Through Hole 2 - Single 1 100 4 V 100 V 3 V
RS Stock No. 792-4694
Mfr. Part No.MJF122G
HK$7.44
Each (In a Pack of 5)
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NPN 8 A 100 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 1000 - 100 V 3.5 V dc
RS Stock No. 169-8767
Mfr. Part No.TIP147TTU
HK$7.47
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PNP -10 A 100 V -5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 2 500 -3.5 V -100 V -2 V
RS Stock No. 109-084
Mfr. Part No.BD679
BrandMagnatec
HK$3.52
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NPN 4 A 80 V 5 V SOT-32 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 750 - 80 V 2.5 V
RS Stock No. 145-4629
Mfr. Part No.TIP120TU
HK$6.72
Each (In a Tube of 50)
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NPN 8 A 60 V 5 V TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 2 1000 - 60 V 4 V
RS Stock No. 109-090
Mfr. Part No.BD680
HK$7.31
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PNP 4 A 80 V 5 V SOT-32 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 750 - 80 V 2.5 V
RS Stock No. 485-9042
Mfr. Part No.BDW93C
HK$6.612
Each (In a Pack of 5)
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NPN 12 A 100 V - TO-220 Through Hole 3 - Single 1 100 4 V 100 V 3 V
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NPN 500 mA 50 V - TSSOP Surface Mount 16 - Common Emitter 7 - - - 1.6 V
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